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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

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Jazzy Wright

Jazzy Wright is a former press officer of the Washington Office.


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