Toronto Leads the Way in Digital Reading

January 20, 2017 | Media Relations

Comments (0)

Digital circulation tops three million, putting Toronto in first place among library systems.

Toronto is a city of readers, and digital library lending is on the rise. In 2016, Toronto Public Library (TPL) cardholders borrowed more than three million digital books, putting us in first place among library systems worldwide. This is a 20% jump from overall 2015 digital lending rates, and a 40% increase in eaudiobook borrowing alone.

“I am thrilled residents have made Toronto the top library system internationally for use of ebooks and e-audiobooks! It’s so interesting to see how our city’s reading patterns are evolving over time as demand for ebooks and e-audiobooks grows year over year, and kudos to our librarians who select and highlight titles that help meet that demand.” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian.

Demand for print items also remains strong, and is growing for adult and children physical books. Last year, Torontonians borrowed a total of 32 million print and digital items. TPL recently released a list of the most anticipated books of 2017.

Ebook pricing continues to be a challenge for public libraries, and ongoing advocacy efforts are underway.


Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Last year, we had 18 million visits to our branches and 31 million virtual visits. Torontonians borrowed 32 million items in branches and online. To learn more, visit, call Answerline at 416-393-7131 or follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.


Media Contact:

Ana-Maria Critchley

Toronto Public Library