NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Nashville Public Library saw a record-breaking year in 2020 for digital checkouts.

While library locations remain closed during the pandemic, the data from Overdrive show book lovers could still get their fix.

Overdrive is one of the platforms used to host downloads and streaming at Nashville Public Library.

In 2020, there were 1.9 million checkouts, but that was just for e-books and audio books.

“That doesn’t track the other digital material we have like e-video, e-music, things of that nature,” said Edward Brown. “And of you tally that, we have more than 2.3 million downloads for the calendar year 2020.”

In fact, he said when you compare it to years past, 2020 has the most checkouts. He said 2019 had the next highest with more than 2.2 million checkouts.

Brown said the pandemic likely contributed to the higher number.

“It was obvious that it impacted to just where folks had to stay home, couldn’t use the library in person for some time last year,” he said.

After a complete shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic, libraries now have some public computer access on a limited basis, as well as curbside pickup for people who like a physical book in hand. 

“Print books are not going anywhere, have not gone anywhere, will always be here,” said Brown. “We cater to folks like that right now using our curbside service where you use you know the online catalog.

“What we really appreciate is the fact that we were able to continue to offering that service in giving some people something just to escape, or enjoy, or learn something you know even in a pretty tumultuous time for all of us.”

If you’re interested in checking out books or E-books, visit the library’s website. Patrons can either get a library card of a digital access card, which is free for Davidson County residents, for digital materials. Once a card member, users can access the online catalog to find what you want from different hosts live Overdrive or Hoopla.

If a user is wanting to get physical copies of books from the library, you can place it on hold and specify which branch you want to pick it up for the curbside service.


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