2017 was another landmark year in digital reading, as our 40,000 library and school partners circulated a quarter-of-a -billion eBooks and audiobooks through their OverDrive-powered collections. The more than 225 million borrowed titles represent a 14% growth in checkouts from 2016, which was also a record-setting year.
Readers from every corner of the world continue to love the anytime, anywhere access of digital books, as a record number of libraries surpassed 1 million checkouts as well, representing multiple countries and continents. Dozens of cities across the globe held popular “Digital Book Clubs” promoting community digital reading through the library, and hundreds of thousands of users took part in our global Big Library Read and Together We Read events.
This record growth was significantly aided by a number of library eBook innovations enhancing user discovery and engagement. In September, Google launched a new feature making it easier for users to find library eBooks in Google Search. In December, the new Libby app was named one of Google Play’s Best Apps of 2017.
Several additional factors helped influence libraries’ digital growth throughout 2017, including OverDrive’s catalog expanding beyond 4 million titles, with content available in more than 100 languages. The wide release of Libby, our one-tap reading app, provided library card holders the easiest way to find their reading happiness. Young readers also continued to embrace digital reading, as juvenile and young adult eBooks and audiobook circulation increased by 9%, breaking 2016’s record as well.
You can see the full press release here to learn more about the key factors that led to this growth and see the most popular titles borrowed in 2017.