The New York Public Library has seen an 81 percent increase in e-book lending within the past year, reported the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
I'm sure the NYPL's recent move to make e-books deliverable to Kindles will boost this statistic.
Los Angeles Times * October 26, 2011
N.Y. Public Library's E-book Lending Increased 81% in One Year
The New York Public Library has 6 million print books to lend and just 75,000 e-books -- but demand for those e-books is growing tremendously. Over the last 12 months, the N.Y. Public Library's e-book lending has increased by 81%, CNN reports. They spoke to Christopher Platt, The New York Public Library's director of collections and circulation operations.
It may not be surprising, then, that while more people are borrowing eBooks from libraries, more people are also going to libraries. "Our usage is going up as well," said Platt as he pointed out that New York libraries loaned more than 28 million items in 2010. "That's a lot of people coming through our doors."
But the number of digital patrons is growing at a much faster pace. "We have, I think, over 150,000 Twitter followers on our flagship Twitter account and over 40,000 Facebook friends," Platt said.
He hopes that more publishing companies will see the benefit in making eBooks available to public libraries with mutually beneficial arrangements.
Speaking on a panel at the Digital Book World conference in January, Platt said that ease of use is crucial to most library users. "The goal," he said, is for "the consumer not to have too much road rash trying to get at the book."
He also said that the library's e-book usage had a steep rise in the weeks after Christmas. If that was because of people receiving new e-readers as gifts, there may be more adopters to come.