Delaware library eBook usage tops 100,000 items

Date Posted: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Categories:  Department of State

More than 14,000 library users download eBooks & eAudiobooks

In less than a year, more than 14,000 Delawareans have download eBooks and eAudiobooks and they have checked out more than 120,000 items, the state Division of Libraries reports. Delaware libraries will mark the first anniversary of the launch of  the statewide eBook lending program on Dec. 19.

As of Nov. 30, there were 14,098 users, from every library throughout the state, of the library eBook collection, provided through a contract with OverDrive, a global distributor of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Through Nov. 30, checkouts totaled 121,923 items.  In November, users checked out 11,854 items, the highest monthly total to date.

“I have been very pleased to see how quickly and how positively Delawareans have responded to our eBook initiative,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock. “It is a significant part of our overall effort to provide materials to patrons in the ways they wish to consume them. In addition, the statewide catalog that we have built makes it possible for us to offer these resources in a more efficient manner and to provide a greater variety of titles.”

Library cardholders may download eBooks to read on the Kindle, Nook and similar devices as well as on their laptops and personal computers. Audiobooks available for download may be played on computers, iPods and most MP3 players.

Daily borrowing of eBooks reached its peak on Oct. 27-29, the three-day period when Delawareans awaited the arrival of Superstorm Sandy and suffered its onslaught. In those three days, 1,607 items were checked out.

“We are pleased with the steady growth of eBook usage, and the circulation numbers during Superstorm Sandy show how much Delawareans value having access to their libraries from anywhere, at anytime, no matter what the weather,” said Dr. Annie Norman, State Librarian.

When the eBook program was first launched, about 1,300 titles were available. The eBook collection now also includes eAudiobooks, which are new this fall. The entire collection has grown to more than 7,000 titles and will continue to expand monthly, Norman said.

The availability of audiobooks online makes high-quality fiction and nonfiction available to cardholders who enjoy the convenience of listening to books while they are walking or driving. “It is also a great benefit to individuals with impaired vision, another example of Delaware libraries striving to serve all of the state’s residents,” said Debbie Briddell, President of the Friends of Delaware Library Access Services, a program within the Division of Libraries.

With many Delawareans purchasing eReaders as holiday gifts this year, Norman reminds them that “Delaware libraries offer an unbeatable value: free checkout of eBooks through the statewide online library catalog.” To donate to the library eBook and eAudio collection, a “Donate” button available through the eBook tab on the library portal ( links to the library eBook donation account at the Delaware Community Foundation.

How to download eBooks & eAudiobooks

To get started downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks go to Most eBook readers require that you first download Adobe Digital Editions software. Kindle users need an Amazon account to complete the download process and there are also apps available for mobile devices.  Links to the software and apps may be found on the website.

Users search the catalog ( to find the book they want and see if it is available in the format they are using (“Kindle” for Kindle users and “EPUB” for others). The title is then placed in a cart, much like an online purchase, and is checked out after the user enters his/her library card number. After checkout, the book is downloaded to a computer for transfer to an eBook reader via a USB connection. Some devices allow for wireless download.

The standard loan period is 14 days, but users can change the loan period to 7 or 21 days. A book may be returned early, or it can be checked out again if no other user has requested it. At the end of the loan period, the book’s title will remain on the user’s eBook reader, but access will be denied. Since access is cut off at the end of the loan period, there are no fines to assess for overdue eBooks. Library patrons may check out a maximum of four items at a time.

About Delaware Libraries

All 32 county, municipal, and independent public libraries throughout Delaware collaborate to offer free 24/7 access to the online catalog ( and Ask a Librarian Delaware; free access to Wi-Fi and computers/internet with the fastest broadband speed in the nation; free access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, jobs databases, homework resources, audio content, and DVDs; free informal training for patrons, community partnerships, and much more to support Delawareans in their lifelong learning interests.



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