I wanted to follow-up on libraries while after reporting about Overdrive earlier this week on ALLi's news column. I came across two library digital borrowing based stories you might find interesting this week.
The first is a report on the Europe-wide movement of creating enormous flagship libraries that double as cultural and intellectual hubs, with everything from fully-equipped makerspaces to archives to classes. It is a wonderful demonstration along with, it has to be said, some unctuous photos of the way libraries continue to flourish.
The second story also highlights this evolving cultural role of libraries. But at its heart is a really interesting look at the books most stolen from Australian libraries. Stolen (or hideously overdue) books amount to over 2% of total lends (30,000 out of 1.3 million for the two separate library districts featured. The Bible and Mein Kampf are not books you would usually find together on a list, but they top the stolen tables, alongside school textbooks. Clearly there are many reasons why a book may go missing.
To return to Overdrive, we now have more flesh on the bones of the report on their record 662 million digital downloads. There are full lists of the big hitting lenders, topped by LA public library which became the first library to record 12 million digital lends in a year. There’s also a list of the libraries newly hitting a million lends. Meanwhile when it comes to the most loaned titles, there are some unsurprising names at the top of the ebooks list, with Colleen Hoover’s Verity dominating fiction and Prince Harry’s Spare doing likewise in non-fiction. It was also a great year for fantasy author Rebecca Yarros, who leads the audiobook lists; and for YA author Sarah J Maas.
Particularly pleasing to see was Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series in the top five graphic novels list. As I reported last year, the record-breaking series started life on the self-publishing platform Tapas.