CW MARS consortium includes many area libraries

WORCESTER — CW MARS recently announced that they achieved a record-breaking one million digital book checkouts in 2019, a milestone for this library consortium consisting of 149 member libraries, including large institutions such as the Worcester Public Library and Springfield Public Library, as well as area libraries in Auburn, Brookfield, Charlton, Dudley, East Brookfield, Holland, Leicester, Millbury, Monson, North Brookfield, Oxford, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield, and beyond.

CW MARS officials said this accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library lending of ebooks and audiobooks along with the creative ways libraries have served their communities with digital services. CW MARS is one of 73 systems around the world — including standalone libraries and consortia — that surpassed one million checkouts through Rakuten OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform and its award-winning app Libby

“OverDrive demand and checkouts continue to grow,” said Jeanette Lundgren, Executive Director at CW MARS. “When we first offered our OverDrive collection in 2005, it took over nine years to reach our first million circulations. In 2018 we had over 1 million check-outs in one calendar year and in 2019 we reached one million checkouts in 9 months!”

Betsy Perry, Director at Sutton Free Public Library, added “OverDrive delivers audiobooks and ebooks to patrons who want them – anytime and anywhere!”

CW MARS libraries have been providing readers 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks for several years. Reader interest and usage has grown every year, reflecting popular trends and interests both locally and across the country. In 2019, the highest-circulating title across both formats CW MARS readers borrowed through OverDrive was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The top-circulating genre, thrillers, represents the most popular in a vast catalog that also includes fantasy, romance and children/young adult.

The top 5 ebook titles borrowed through CW MARS’ digital collection in 2019:
1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

2. Educated by Tara Westover
3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
4. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The top 5 audiobook titles borrowed through CW MARS’ digital collection in 2019:
1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
5. Educated by Tara Westover

Named one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the 2010s and one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019, Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers with the popular digital collections of libraries. Readers may browse the library’s digital collection, instantly borrow titles and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card. 

Readers in central and western Massachusetts just need a valid CW MARS library card to access digital books from CW MARS’ OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Windows®. With Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®” devices and apps [US only]. All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.

Visit https://cwmars.overdrive.com/ or download the Libby app to get started and borrow ebooks and audiobooks anytime, anywhere.

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