(271496)

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, people who were staying at home more often turned to streaming videos for entertainment. However, as the pandemic continues into 2021, people are streaming content for more than just fun and games.

Kanopy partners with libraries and filmmakers to give patrons, students and faculty free access to educational films. Its content is meant to stimulate imaginations, spark meaningful conversations and promote learning.

As educational streaming becomes more mainstream over the next several years, Kanopy says many public libraries are transitioning their budgets from DVDs to streaming services to meet the needs of their patrons.

“Kanopy is extremely grateful to the hundreds of librarians who took the time and effort to participate in our survey,” said Kanopy CEO Kevin Sayar. “Their invaluable input will help inform our product development and allow us to better serve the public library community and patrons they serve.”

Meanwhile, the digital swift is also being implemented in the L.A. County library system, which reached a record-breaking 3.1 million digital book checkouts via OverDrive in 2020, a 34 percent increase from 2019, making it one of the top 15 public library systems worldwide for total annual digital circulation.

The milestone shows the continued growth and importance of library digital lending of eBooks and audiobooks, especially in a timespan with building closures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“At L.A. County Library, we pride ourselves on removing barriers to access, and we are always working toward expanding and supporting our digital library, adding more content, and making it easier to find and use,” said Library Director Skye Patrick. “The tremendous increase in checkouts of eBooks and audiobooks this year illuminates their growing importance to the people we serve, who want to be able to access library materials, wherever they are. This digital access has been especially important this year, when access to library buildings has been limited.”

The L.A. County Library has been providing readers 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks for several years through OverDrive and its Libby reading app.

The highest-circulating title L.A. County Library readers borrowed through OverDrive in 2020 was “Becoming” by Michelle Obama.