ISSAQUAH — As one of the highest circulating library systems in the U.S., the King County Library System (KCLS) lends out more than 16.3 million print books to its patrons every year. What some residents are surprised to learn is that KCLS also has the largest digital circulation in America, with double-digital annual growth projected for 2017 of nearly 4.7 million downloads of eBooks, digital audiobooks and streaming video.
It’s been nearly 10 years since the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle Fire to consumers in November 2007, which helped make eBooks and digital audiobooks more popular. KCLS was ahead of the curve when it expanded its print collection with a digital library to meet readers’ growing interests through a partnership in 2003 with OverDrive, a digital reading platform for libraries.
“The digital landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade and is reflected in how library patrons borrow and read books,” said Angela Nolet, Librarian of KCLS Online Library Services. “Digital downloads are rising in popularity among KCLS patrons. So far in 2017, we've seen a 23% increase of digital download checkouts over last year.”
To encourage King County residents to download more digital titles, whether for the first time or more often, KCLS is participating in OverDrive’s “Digital Dash” contest. KCLS will raffle off a Kindle Fire, provided by OverDrive, for one lucky KCLS patron. To be automatically entered and eligible to win, KCLS library card holders simply need to borrow an eBook, digital audiobook or streaming video from KCLS’ OverDrive collection. Readers can access the library’s digital catalog any time by visiting kcls.overdrive.com, or by downloading the Libby app from their device’s app store. The winner will be announced on a KCLS.org blog post by or on January 18, 2018.
If patrons download 750,500 digital titles before the end of 2017, KCLS will be eligible to win funds to add more eBooks and downloadable audiobooks to its digital library for card holders to enjoy.
Ideas to Increase Your Digital Reading Now - Following are a few ideas to get immersed in digital reading:
Holiday gift reading and shopping– Find out which books are the best to give for the holidays this year at www.kcls.org/books. Download them now and read them first, so you can tell your gift recipient why you chose that book especially for him or her.
Wrap up the year with literature – Did you forget to read books that were released earlier this year? Review KCLS’ “Best Books of 2017” beginning December 1 at www.kcls.org/books and download titles to catch up on over your holiday vacation or while everyone else is shopping. Current popular digital titles to download include, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne.
Read digitally and socially - If you aren’t going home for the holidays, try social reading with your family and friends! Read the same digital title, comment on margin notes, and share reviews using your device’s social apps.
Simply download and listen – eBooks and digital audiobooks are always convenient when listening to a book makes more sense, such as when you want to ease your commute to work, learn a new foreign language, or download a cookbook to be read to you by a chef while you’re preparing a new recipe.
The library’s digital books are free for any King County resident to use with a valid library card. Users can borrow bestsellers, classic eBooks and digital audiobooks to enjoy on smart phones, tablets, Kindles and other eReaders, and computers. Younger readers and teens can also browse, place holds and borrow eBooks and other media appropriate for their age range and reading level. Digital titles are convenient, portable and are never charged late fees, as they return automatically at the end of the lending period.
KCLS also offers patrons additional digital services for free, including 12 free hours of streaming music every day through Freegal, digital comics through hoopla, digital magazines through RBdigital, and movies and TV shows that are compatible with your Roku, Chromecast and Airplay. For more information, visit the KCLS Online Library Collection and variety of formats at: kcls.org/online-resources.
About the King County Library System
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest library systems in the country. KCLS currently has 49 libraries spread throughout King County in Washington State with more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2016, King County residents checked out almost 21 million items, including 3.8 million digital eBooks and audiobooks, making KCLS the number one circulating library for online downloads in the United States. Last year, KCLS also had 10 million library visitors and 64 million catalog searches.
King County Library System Media Contact: Melanie Apostol, 425.369.3277, firstname.lastname@example.org