On Loan: Library Use in Canada 2021 (A New Report by BookNet Canada)
On Loan: Library Use in Canada 2021 benchmarks library use in Canada by exploring the browsing, borrowing, and reading habits of Canadian library patrons. Comparing data from 2021 with past years, the study also reveals the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on library circulation.
This study incorporates data from our annual publications the Canadian Book Consumer Study 2021 and Canadian Leisure & Reading Study 2021, relying on both published and unreleased data from these consumer surveys.
Visiting the library
In 2021, 96% of book borrowers reported having a public library branch located near them and 73% of book borrowers visited their local library in person at least once, up significantly from 59% in 2020. All told, 97% of ebook borrowers, 93% of audiobook borrowers, and 77% of print book borrowers visited a public library at least once in 2021. The graph below shows the frequency of in-person library visits for all book borrowers in 2021 and 2020. The highest frequency of in-person library visits in 2021 was one to four times, at 46%.
Frequency of in-person library visits, 2020–2021
Compared to 50% in 2020, 69% of book borrowers visited their local library online at least once in 2021. Here, print book borrowers were the most frequent online library visitors in 2021 at 94%, compared to 68% of audiobook borrowers and 48% of ebook borrowers. The graph below shows the frequency of online library visits for book borrowers in 2021 and 2020. The majority of Canadian book borrowers visited the library online one to four times in 2021, at 55%.
Frequency of online library visits, 2020–2021
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.