By Kathy Chouteau
Amid pandemic-driven building closures in 2020, the Contra Costa County Library reached a record-breaking one million digital book checkouts, placing it in the top 55 public library systems worldwide in total digital circulation and one of 102 public library systems worldwide that achieved that mark.
Also signaling the current zeitgeist was the highest-circulating title readers borrowed from the library’s Overdrive-powered digital collection in 2020: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. Thrillers took the crown as the top-circulating genre in a wide-ranging catalog that also includes biographies, romance and children/young adult, per the library.
The accomplishment underscores the ever-emerging popularity and growth of the library’s digital lending of eBooks and audiobooks, particularly during the global pandemic. Contra Costa County Library has been providing readers with all day, everyday access to eBooks and eAudiobooks for several years via OverDrive and its award-winning Libby reading app, with interest and usage growing each year.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating this reading milestone with our patrons,” said Alison McKee, Interim County Librarian at Contra Costa County Library. “We are eager to serve members of the community wherever they are, and in these unique and challenging times we are proud to be able to expand our digital collection to do just that.”
According to Contra Costa County Library, the top 5 eBook titles borrowed through its digital collection in 2020 were:
1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
3. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
5. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through the library’s digital collection in 2020 were:
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
2. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
4. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
To access digital books from the library’s OverDrive digital collection, readers only need a valid library card and can use any major device, including Apple(R), Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle(R) (only in the U.S.). Click here or download the Libby app to start borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks.