Merrimack Valley Library Consortium recently announced that their libraries exceeded a record-breaking 2 million digital e-book, audiobook and magazine checkouts for the first time.

This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of libraries to the community.

Digital book lending is a way for readers to discover — or rediscover — their local library’s programs and resources. MVLC has provided their patrons with 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks since 2004 through Rakuten OverDrive, creator of the reading app Libby.

“This is a real milestone for our shared digital collection,” said Eric C. Graham, executive director at Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. “All MVLC libraries have contributed their resources, time, and a great deal of expertise building this collection over the last decade. We are so happy that this digital format for books, audiobooks, magazines and videos is meeting the informational and entertainment needs of the diverse communities that MVLC serves. Usage of this collection has grown by leaps and bounds every year, including a 47 percent increase in fiscal year 2019 checkouts over the previous year.”

MVLC tailors their collection to fit the needs of their community, offering over 26,000 ebooks, audiobooks and magazines including bestsellers and new releases in a variety of topics. The library also offers Kids and Magazines eReading Rooms, digital versions of physical reading rooms, which provide digital books sectioned off from the rest of the catalog with all searches filtered to fit the Room’s theme, format or age level.

The 2 millionth checkout was Margot Lee Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.” This work follows the lives of several African-American women mathematicians working at NASA who were instrumental to the success of the U.S. space program.

Named one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019 and one of TIME’s Best Apps of 2018, Libby connects first-time users and experienced readers with the popular digital collections of libraries. Users also can also listen to audiobooks, the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry with the convenience of listening on the go. In addition, many libraries offer top-selling magazines that are available with no wait lists or holds. Libby provides an easy way to access eBooks, audiobooks and magazines altogether on one app.

Readers may browse the library’s digital collection, borrow titles and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card. This service is compatible with all major computers and devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows. With Libby, readers also can “send to Kindle” devices and apps. All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers also can download titles onto Libby for offline use.

For information, visit http://mvlc.overdrive.com.