OverDrive Survey Finds Library Patrons Buy Ebooks

Fifty-seven percent of library users say that the public library is their primary source of book discovery, according to a new survey released today by e-book distributor OverDrive. The online poll, which focused on library e-book readers, found that patrons surveyed purchased an average of 3.2 print and e-books per month, and that the majority of respondents would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website.

With more than 75,000 respondents from thousands of U.S. public library OverDrive websites, the survey is the largest study of library e-book usage to date. Highlights from the survey on library e-book borrows include:

  • 57 percent of respondents say the public library is their primary source of book discovery
  • 35 percent of patrons purchased a book (both print and e-book) after borrowing that title
  • 53 percent would consider purchasing books discovered on library website
  • 44 percent say digital book purchases have increased in past six months

It should be noted that the survey is not representative of the U.S. population as a whole—the study was intended to provide insight into borrowing and buying behaviors of library e-book readers.

The survey was sponsored by OverDrive with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy. To view full survey results, go to http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2012/11/15/survey-says-library-borrowers-also-buyers/

Jazzy Wright is the Press Officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office. Email her at jwright@alawash.org.

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