NC Digital Library Announces Two Million Ebook and Audiobook Checkouts in 2019

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North Carolina Digital Library has announced that they achieved a record-breaking two million digital book checkouts in 2019, a milestone for the library consortium consisting of Greensboro Public Library, Buncombe County Public Libraries, Transylvania County Public Library, and other local libraries in the state.

This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library lending of ebooks and audiobooks along with the creative ways libraries have served their communities with digital services. North Carolina Digital Library is one of 73 systems around the world – including standalone libraries and consortia – that surpassed one million checkouts through Rakuten OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform and its award-winning app Libby (complete list here).

“We are thrilled to mark this milestone,” said Rishara Finsel, Director of Transylvania County Public Library. “The libraries that make up this consortium are committed to promoting literacy, a love of reading, and access to books. Two million checkouts show how valuable that is to the readers in our communities.”


North Carolina Digital Library libraries have been providing readers 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks for several years. Reader interest and usage has grown every year, reflecting popular trends and interests both locally and across the country. In 2019, the highest-circulating title across both formats North Carolina Digital Library readers borrowed through OverDrive was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The top-circulating genre, thrillers, represents the most popular in a vast catalog that also includes fantasy, romance and children/young adult.

The top 5 ebook titles borrowed through North Carolina Digital Library’s digital collection in 2019:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
3. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
4. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
5. Camino Island by John Grisham

The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through North Carolina Digital Library’s digital collection in 2019:

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
3. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
4. Educated by Tara Westover
5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the 2010s and one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019, Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers with the popular digital collections of libraries. Readers may browse the library’s digital collection, instantly borrow titles and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card.

Readers in select areas of North Carolina just need a valid library card to access digital books from North Carolina Digital Library’s OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Windows®. With Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” devices and apps [US only]. All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.

Visit or download the Libby app to get started and borrow ebooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere.