Details reported in Library Journal’s Annual Library Budget Survey have been quite depressing for the past few years. And the news from their annual Book Buying Survey hasn’t been any better.

 

Here’s how LJ summed things up for overall library budgets each year since the economy crashed in 2008:

2009 – Permanent Shift?
2010 – Bodies Everywhere
2011 – Furiously Treading Water
2012 – Cautious Optimism

 

And here’s how the Book Buying Survey looked:

2009 – Think Edvard Munch’s The Scream
2010 – Uphill Battle
2011 – Book Circ Takes a Hit As Budget Cuts Take Effect
2012 – Material Budgets Flat, Print Book Budgets Fall

 

But here is how circulation shaped up for OverDrive library partners in the same years:

 

2009 – 8.7 million digital titles checked out
2010 – 15 million digital titles checked out = +72%
2011 – 35 million digital titles checked out = +133%
2012 – 70 million digital titles checked out = +100%

 

How does digital content factor into the whole equation? The most recent LJ report covering 2012, shows that downloadables are now offered by 87% of the respondents to their survey—up from 79% in 2011. eBooks accounted for an average of just 6% of the materials budget for libraries, and downloadable audiobooks had an average 9% share, for a total of 15%. But if we look at the largest and the highest circulating libraries, the percentage is higher. For libraries serving a population of at least 50,000, eBooks were at least 8% of the budget, and as high as 10%, for a total share of up to 18% including audiobooks.

 

As you can see, circulation of OverDrive titles is growing at astronomical rates, and the company now has over 1 million titles available to libraries. With budgets showing strain, and libraries struggling to keep up with the increased demand with fewer staff members, we understand that one thing we can do to help with the overload is to try to make it easier and quicker to take care of selection. We recently added a new feature in the “Must Haves” section of Marketplace: Starred Review titles. This list contains eBooks and audiobooks which have received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, Library Journal, or Publishers Weekly. If you have any suggestions for other features we can add to make your life as a selector easier, please just let us know. We’re committed to doing whatever we can to save you precious time.

 

To view titles in the new Starred Reviews feature, login to Content Reserve. For additional help, contact your Collection Development Specialist.

 

 

Cindy Orr is a Digital Collection Advisor at OverDrive.

 

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