A tablet on a shelf of books and headline: Digital library reading & streaming breaks records in 2023." Includes a Libby and Kanopy logo.

Library Love, Trends

A look back at 2023, a record-breaking year for digital libraries


Jan 04, 2024

We may have closed the book on 2023, but the story’s just beginning. Last year marked the 1 billionth book checked out on the Libby app, and readers aren’t slowing down, borrowing 662 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines from libraries in 2023 - up 19% from 2022! While convenience and ease of use continue to be a driving force behind increased usage, new release blockbuster titles from authors like Colleen Hoover and Rebecca Yarros also played a part in fueling reader demand.

Browse the list of the most popular books borrowed from libraries in 2023 and read on for more stats on top books, movies and digital library lending records from the year:

Top digital books borrowed from libraries by genre:

Adult fiction: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Adult nonfiction: Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Young adult fiction: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Children’s fiction: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Top books used for library digital book clubs:

Tatouine by Jean-Christophe Réhel
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Top digital books requested from libraries via Notify Me tags:

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
House of Flame and Shadow by Sarah J. Maas
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman

Total checkouts by format

📱 New public library (digital) users: 8 million (+22%)
📚 Ebooks borrowed: 370 million (+12%)
🎧 Audiobooks borrowed: 235 million (+23%)
📗 Magazines borrowed: 56 million (+75%)
💥 Comics and graphic novels: 37 million (+14%)

With the cost of streaming subscriptions on the rise, users are also turning to Kanopy*, watching a record 13 million hours of streaming videos last year. Here’s what they watched:

Top films watched from libraries via Kanopy:

Everything Everywhere All at Once
Triangle of Sadness
The Whale
The Green Knight

Top documentaries watched from libraries via Kanopy:

The YouTube Effect
Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy
Kubrick by Kubrick
Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
Some Kind of Heaven

Top TV series watched from libraries via Kanopy:

Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators
The Forsyte Saga

Download Libby and Kanopy to read and watch more in the year ahead—all free from your library.

*Access to films varies by country and library. Check with your library to learn more about their offerings.

About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


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