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Pikes Peak Library District: Digital and audiobook checkouts up 25 percent, likely due to pandemic

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 10:02 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Pikes Peak Library District data from 2020 suggests the pandemic prompted more people to read, while also changing how and what is being read.

Pikes Peak Library District had 26,000 new cardholders for the year.

“Our collection staff, when they looked at that and saw that it was 26,000 new cardholders in 2020, that’s pretty impressive,”said Michelle Ray with the library district. “That’s almost 25 percent of our service area in El Paso County, so clearly people are turning to their library during this pandemic because we provide access to resources, to service, to information.”

There was also a noticeable jump in digital and audiobook check outs compared to previous years’ increases. Library locations are still closed to walk-ins. The only option for checking out a physical book is curb-side pick up.

“We saw a pretty big increase in people checking out books digitally, about 25 percent, which is quite significant,” Ray added. “Since 2016, it has been a 50 percent increase, so we were already seeing this trend in people using more digital books, but during the pandemic we saw that get even higher”

The library district also saw a 59 percent increase in items checked out with “pandemic” or “epidemic” in the item description. This suggests readers may have wanted to brush up on what is going on in the world now.

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