Toronto library first in world to exceed 20 million digital downloads

Twenty million. That’s how many ebooks and audiobooks have been downloaded from the Toronto Public Library as of July 31.

InfoDocket reports the Toronto Library kicked off its digital adventure in 2007, the same year the Kindle store launched in the USA, with just 25 ebooks. Last month it became the first library anywhere in the world to break the 20 million digital downloads mark.

A year later, the collection had grown to 1,500 titles, which had been borrowed nearly 30,000 times. By 2017, it had reached over 170,000 titles, which were borrowed over 4.6 million times that year … Ebooks, audiobooks and digital video accounted for about 18 % of the library’s circulation last year.

In a telling comment about how price influences the library’s digital path, Maria Cipriano, the Senior Collections Specialist responsible for Toronto Public Library’s ebooks,  shared the twenty most popular ebooks as downloaded through the library (see InfoDocket report for details), but warned that doesn’t necessarily reflect demand.

If a book costs less, it might circulate more, because we can buy more copies.

As previously reported here at TNPS, OverDrive, which supplies Toronto Public Library as well as libraries worldwide, from the US to the UAE, Singapore and even Rwanda in east Africa, is on target to clear a quarter billion digital downloads this year, with 66 individual libraries on target to loan over a million ebooks each.

66 OverDrive libraries on target for 1 million+ downloads in 2018. Seven for 4m. Two looking at 5m as downloads soar 11%

If, as seems safe to assume, Toronto is one of the two libraries expected to clear 5 million downloads this year, it will mean digital downloads at Toronto are averaging a phenomenal 13,700 downloads a day.

As noted here many times, none of these downloads, none of the library purchases, and none of the revenue being sent back to publishers and authors, is recorded by Data Guy’s Author Earnings and Bookstat reports.

Hat tip to Paul Biba on twitter (@paulkbiba) for spotting this story.

And a reminder you can follow TNPS on twitter (@thenewpubstd) for links to far more global publishing stories than I can cover here.

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