By Deven King
Libraries allow the community to check out books, magazines, and more without any costs, but trying to remember to return books on time has always been a problem for both the library and community. Over the years however, digital books have become hugely popular when it comes to reading. In response to this, local libraries have set up electronic books that people can borrow from them.
Hillsborough County libraries started allowing the community to check out e-books and audiobooks. With e-books, libraries do not have to worry about late, damaged or lost books. Since 2019, digital book checkouts have steadily risen, and checkouts have now reached an all-time high. From 2020 to now, there has been an 8 percent increase in checkouts. Each week, there are approximately 44,200 e-books and audiobooks borrowed from libraries.
Checking out audiobooks and e-books is a simple process that only requires a library card. With these digital books, they are automatically returned, so people don’t have to remember to return their books on time. The e-books and audiobooks do have a return day, but it is the same 21 days as the regular books and can be renewed.
The community can borrow books from the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s apps, such as hoopla, Libby, myON, TumbleBookLibrary and Axis 360. To checkout an e-book from these sites, only an active library account is needed. The number of checkouts allowed differs with each library site, ranging from 10-30 books.
The top five most downloaded e-books of 2022 include The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly, all No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers.
Over 1,053,805 e-books, e-audiobooks and digital magazines have been checked out in 2022. The library had a goal of a million e-book checkouts, which the community has already completed, but the libraries encourage everyone to try and reach two million checkouts by the end of the year.
For more information on e-books or to make a library account, visit https://hcplc.org/ or call 813-273-3652.