Becoming by the former first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, and ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens are among the most popular ebooks borrowed from libraries in 2020. ‘White Fragility’, ‘So You Want to Talk about Race’, ‘The Hate U Give’ and others became top 10 titles checked out during 2020.
‘Educated’ by Tara Westover, ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ by Celeste Ng, and
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes was also leading titles.
Data by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for 65,000 libraries and schools worldwide, shows that readers worldwide borrowed 430 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in the past 12 months, a 33 percent increase over 2019. This significant growth was influenced by the pandemic, social justice, and remote learning. Audiobooks borrowed totaled 138 million (+20 percent).
Social unrest and widespread civil protests had a profound impact on the world and libraries expertly responded. Digital books about social justice and those written by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) or by a member of the marginalized community from which it depicts (Own Voices) experienced 165 percent YoY circulation growth.
The most significant genre growth in 2020 was children`s and YA fiction and nonfiction because of remote and hybrid learning. Most popular audiobooks borrowed from libraries in 2020 include ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling, ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens, ‘Talking to Strangers’ by Malcolm Gladwell, and ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover.
The data shows that 102 public library systems around the world achieved more than 1 million digital book checkouts. This includes 26 systems over 2 million checkouts, 10 over 3 million, 6 over 4 million, 2 over 5 million, 3 over 6 million, 2 over 7 million, and 1 over 8 million. (Agencies)