A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

One Million eBook Checkouts in 2014

Can you believe it? The Ontario Library Service Overdrive collection surpassed 1 million digital checkouts! We’re right up there, along with New York City, Seattle and Calgary.

We’ve come a long way over the last five years, with new libraries joining every year. In 2009, we had close to seventy libraries participating in Overdrive, with a few of them only lending 4 or 5 ebooks that year. Two years later, in 2011, we lent almost 90,000 e- and audio books. And four years later, here we are, with over 180 libraries accessing the collection and ~1,650,000 checkouts clocked in for 2014. Phew!

Overdrive provides an easy to use interface that makes downloading books simple, I should know 😉 But, I was surprised to learn that they facilitate library users who would like to check out the classics – books that are available on Project Gutenberg. I’ve borrowed from Gutenberg before, but always found it a bit frustrating. The download process and transfer to my Kobo is fiddly. And the formatting isn’t very nice once it’s there. Digging in to the Overdrive statistics we can produce, it’s clear I’m not the only one – over 11,500 Gutenberg books were ‘checked out’ in 2014.

Maybe this year we’ll make up that extra ~350,000 checkouts and hit 2 million… With that in mind, each month we’ll release a few of our top choices for Overdrive reads. Books we’re reading, or wish we had time to read. Check back soon for our first post!