Overdrive is reporting major growth in library e-book traffic and circulation. This appears to mirror the huge growth in e-book sales at the Sony store, Amazon, B&N, Chapters and Borders. The good news is that libraries are keeping up!
“If you need any evidence of the popularity of eBooks in the library, all you need to do is look at what happened over the past week. Despite some issues caused by a surge in activity, traffic, checkouts, and new user registration records were smashed over the Christmas holiday–all thanks to eBooks.
For the first time ever, eBooks out-circulated audiobooks at libraries’ ‘Virtual Branch’ websites. Audiobooks are still very popular and increasing in circulation, but this momentum for eBook downloads shows that the format has gone mainstream at libraries.
Library eBook circulation has steadily grown over the past month, starting on Nov. 26, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday. (Like Christmas, many people had new devices, thanks to Black Friday deals, plus they had time to use them.)
To show you what happened in one month, we’ve compared usage from Nov. 26-28 (around US Thanksgiving) to Dec. 25-27 (around Christmas).
– eBook checkouts increased a staggering 93%
– Visits to ‘Virtual Branch’ websites were up 60%
– Pageviews were up nearly 70%
Needless to say, Christmas and the days following were the three biggest for library downloads ever. As a whole, 2010 was even more impressive. We’ll have the full stats for 2010 coming next week, so stay tuned.
Dan Stasiewski is a marketing associate for OverDrive.”
Several public library directors are telling me that e-book availability is the biggest driver of cardholder growth in their systems. That makes sense – e-reader owners are certainly more likely to be book readers! I hope every library has been practicing supporting these customers with a variety of readers and tip sheets available.