Hamilton public library hits 'record-breaking' 1 million digital book check outs

It's further evidence of the importance of eBooks and eAudiobooks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to HPL.

'Hamilton is a city of readers!' said Lisa Weaver, director of collections for HPL

Hamilton Public Library has seen interest in its digital offerings skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Hamilton Public Library (HPL) says it's hit one million digital book checkouts in 2020.

It's a "record-breaking" number, according to the library, and further evidence of the importance of eBooks and eAudiobooks.

That's especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when staff have seen the use of HPL's digital offerings, which can be accessed through OverDrive's Libby reading app, skyrocket.

Lisa Weaver, the library's director of collections, credited Hamiltonians with hitting the milestone two months earlier than expected.

"Hamilton is a city of readers!" she said in a media release.

"In 2020, library members also asked for more Canadian authors, Indigenous titles and diverse voices for youth and adults. We look forward to working with OverDrive and Hamilton readers to keep Hamilton reading in 2021."

Here's a look at the 10 most-borrowed eBook titles in Hamilton this year:

  1. Moon of the Crusted Snow: A Novel by Waubgeshig Rice
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. Nine Perfect Strangers: A Novel by Liane Moriarty
  5. Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
  6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  7. The Reckoning: A Novel by John Grisham
  8. Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 by Lee Child
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry Potter Series, Book 1* by JK Rowling
  10. The Guardians: A Novel by John Grisham

Popular categories include mystery, romance and books for children and young adults, according to the library.

HPL says it's one of 75 public library systems around the world that's on track to surpass one million checkouts by the end of the year.

Anyone who lives, works or studies in Hamilton is able to register for a library card and can use most major devices, including Apple, Android and Chromebook products to read and listen online.