King County residents are among the nation’s busiest readers, based on library circulation. With the proliferation of digital devices, libraries are making materials available for instant gratification through digital downloads. With Web access, patrons can browse collections, find titles they want, download and enjoy them immediately. And there’s no need to worry about turning them in on the due-date: digital titles simply expire. Effortless.
Digital downloads are growing in popularity nationwide. As the industry leader in digital lending for public and school libraries, OverDrive reports that in 2015 public library readers borrowed more than 169 million eBooks, audiobooks, digital periodicals, and streaming video. This represents a total increase in digital downloads of 24 percent over 2014. Digital audiobooks, in particular, grew at the highest rate (+36%).
Again, the King County Library System (KCLS) holds the top honor among US libraries in circulation of digital books, with 2,848,205 downloads during 2015, a 25 percent increase over 2014. The top circulation in North America goes to Toronto Public Library, Ontario, Canada, at 3,108,465 items. While Toronto’s count is higher, so is their population, at more than six million. For Toronto, the per capita download count is a little less than two items, while for KCLS, the average is 2.2 items per person.
KCLS topped New York Public Library in digital downloads by nearly 600,000 items. Neighboring Seattle Public Library (SPL) ranks fifth in total digital book circulation, with 1,801,695 items, a 24 percent increase over 2014.
If you’re curious about the range of titles available through KCLS or SPL, visit their websites and browse their eBooks and Digital Downloads selections. If you already have your own library card for either system, you can browse and download immediately. You also can get a card for the other system, and check out digital materials from either system by downloading items to your own device. You can borrow eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, digital magazines, and more for your smartphone, tablet, or eReader. And it’s all free of charge.
If you don’t have your own library card, you can get one for free through KCLS, and through SPL. You’ll need your own card for each system to borrow their materials. If you live in a neighboring library district with reciprocal borrowing privileges, click here to find out if you’re eligible for a KCLS library card.
For assistance with KCLS eBooks and downloads, contact Ask KCLS.