May 24, 2022

Rankings: OverDrive Announces Library eBook Leaders For 2012

From the OverDrive Blog:

Last year, readers browsing OverDrive-hosted library websites generated 2.7 billion page views and checked out more than 70 million eBooks and audiobooks. Today, OverDrive announced Library eBook Leaders for 2012, recognizing the libraries achieving the greatest growth and exposure for their eBook and audiobook catalogs.

Public libraries lending the most eBooks and other digital titles from OverDrive-powered catalogs in 2012:

  1. King County Library System, Wash. (1.3 million checkouts)
  2. New York Public Library (1.1 million checkouts)
  3. Toronto Public Library (900,000 checkouts)
  4. Seattle Public Library (850,000 checkouts)
  5. Hennepin County Library, Minn. (750,000 checkouts)

Public libraries recording the fastest growth for their eBook-lending catalogs in 2012:

  1. Moreton Bay Libraries (Australia) (464% growth)
  2. Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative (370%)
  3. Western Plains Library System (Okla.) (351%)
  4. Up North Michigan Consortium (317%)
  5. Northeast Texas Digital Consortium (300%)

Read the Complete Blog Post

A Couple of Comments

1. I would also like to see a ranking for number of checkouts based on the total number of OverDrive titles a library provides access to. For fastest growing libraries it would be useful to know the number of new titles added during the year. Do more titles automatically large gains in total circulation?

In fact, OverDrive should offer access to the methodology used to create these rankings. 

2. Moving forward OverDrive needs to factor in overall library size (users, budget, etc.) with these lists. As you saw the top five consists of large, urban library systems. Where do medium and small libraries  (in terms of both users and budget) fit? The fastest growing rankings should be available for libraries who do not participate in a consortium.

3. As we’ve said in previous posts the total number of page views number means little to us since we have no idea about how many page come from users trying to find an ebook(s) to borrow and then discover what they want is not available at that time. In other words, people spending time clicking, viewing, and coming up with either nothing or not what they came for. I’ve had this problem many times myself.

Overall, I think the library world has done a poor job explaining how library ebook borrowing works (e.g. an unlimited number of copies are not available for each title).

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.