WA Secretary of State Blogs

Washington Libraries Shine in eBook Checkouts

One Million Digital Checkouts Club Official Members 2013

Two Washington libraries are in OverDrive’s 2013 Million Digital Checkouts Club. The King County Library System (KCLS) actually led the way with the most OverDrive digital checkouts of any library system worldwide! Seattle Public Library (SPL) was also in the club, at position number 6. OverDrive recently published the numbers (see below) on their blog.

OverDrive is a vendor which libraries frequently use to provide access to downloadable digital content, especially eBooks and eAudiobooks. Here are the 2013 members of OverDrive’s Million Digital Checkouts Club:

Last year, only two libraries broke the 1 million mark in digital circulation, but the number one both years was KCLS. We posted the top five for 2012 here on the blog last March. SPL was number 4 in 2012.

Here at the Washington State Library we also have the privilege of managing an OverDrive consortium for a group of smaller libraries, most of whom could not afford to offer this service to their patrons on their own. Going in together, these 39 libraries provide the Washington Anytime Library, also powered by OverDrive, and partially subsidized with federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds administered by IMLS (The Institute for Museum and Library Services). The group calls itself the Washington Digital Library Consortium (WDLC).

The 39 WDLC libraries serve a combined population of 725,362 which is less than King County’s 1,362,870, but more than Seattle’s 616,500. But, the group has a way to go to make it into the same league as KCLS and SPL, at least in terms of digital checkouts. In 2013, the Washington Anytime Library had 380,000 checkouts, compared to 216,000 in 2012. Still, that’s a 76% annual increase, compared to the 22-25% increases shown by the larger systems. So look out big guys, the WDLC is on your tail!

Congratulations to all of these libraries for staying relevant by offering eBooks and eAudiobooks to their eager patrons, who love to read, whether in digital formats, or in traditional print. It will be fascinating to track how these numbers continue to increase in years to come!



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