KCLS surpasses 7 million digital downloads in 2020, a record-setting year

Rakuten OverDrive, a digital reading platform used by the King County Library System (KCLS), has released their 2020 digital circulation statistics. KCLS patrons checked out 7,408,428 digital titles in 2020—up 30.5% from last year, making KCLS the No. 2 digital circulating library in the U.S. and No. 3 in the world.

KCLS and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) each surpassed 7 million checkouts last year, a number previously unreached. KCLS’ per capita usage remains the highest of any library system in the U.S.

A record number of readers turned to their public libraries’ digital collections in 2020 for content they could enjoy safely at home during the pandemic. In total, 430 million digital titles were borrowed globally across all OverDrive platforms.

“We have witnessed a historical year for digital reading,” stated KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “It is wonderful to see that KCLS residents have stayed connected to their community libraries during this unprecedented time, and we hope they continue to find enrichment and entertainment in KCLS’ expansive digital collection.” 

KCLS’ Top Five Electronic Titles in 2020:

  1. “So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Oluo
  2. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by K. Rowling
  3. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  4. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  5. “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell

A valid KCLS library card or eCard gives patrons access to the System’s online collection, which includes streaming films, eBooks, audiobooks, online magazines, research databases, student resources, small business resources and more.