OverDrive Reports Over Half a Billion Digital Library Loans in 2021


OverDrive, the leading digital service provider in the digital library market, announced another year of strong growth in digital library loans, although the rate of growth slowed from 2020.

In a Jan. 5 post, OverDrive reported some 506 million digital loans (eBooks, audiobooks and digital magazines) in 2021, a 16% increase from 2020. The data comes from more than 76,000 libraries and schools in 94 countries around the world using OverDrive. applications and services. The company also reported that 121 public library systems in seven countries surpassed the one million digital book loans mark, up from 102 libraries which reached the mark in 2020.

Surpassing half a billion in annual loans for the first time, OverDrive’s figures for 2021 suggest the pandemic has, as librarians have suggested, increased demand for digital content in public libraries. In 2020, in the wake of widespread library and school closures due to Covid-19, OverDrive reported 430 million loans, a 33% increase from 2019. And in 2019, the year before the pandemic, the company reported 326 million loans, an increase of 20% over the previous year.

OverDrive officials said the “focus on equity of access to books for all” also helped boost library lending in 2021 and helped produce “a record year” for “sales. of books and the revenues of authors and publishers who provide digital books to libraries. ” Other notable data released today:

  • 60% of readers accessed their borrowed digital library through OverDrive’s popular Libby app.
  • School circulation of digital books with the Sora student reading app increased by 65%.
  • Public library digital collections have enabled 4.7 million books to be borrowed by students for self-selected reading on the Sora app, an increase of 117%.
  • 400 third-party applications, websites and service providers have integrated OverDrive services, responding to more than 15 billion API calls for some 22,000 libraries.

Top OverDrive titles for 2021

Most popular eBooks borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. The four winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Publishing Group, St. Martin’s Press)
  2. The midnight library by Matt Haig (Penguin Publishing Group, Viking)
  3. The half that faints by Brit Bennett (Penguin Publishing Group, Riverhead Books)
  4. The guest list by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins, William Morrow Paperback)
  5. Nomadic country by Jessica Bruder (WW Norton & Company)

Most popular audiobooks borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. A promised land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
  2. Where the crayfish sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House Audio)
  3. Cold mourning by Brenda Chapman (Dundurn)
  4. The four winds by Kristin Hannah (Macmillan Audio)
  5. Green light by Matthew McConaughey (Penguin Random House Audio)

Most popular magazines borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. Us weekly (A360 Media, LLC)
  2. The Economist (The Economist Newspaper Limited)
  3. The New Yorker (Condé Nast US)
  4. SALVATION! (Hello! Limited)
  5. HGTV Magazine (Hearst)

Top digital books borrowed from libraries by genre:

The full version is available here.


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