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Los Angeles Public Library patrons borrowing more digital items than ever before

Circulation numbers have increased nearly 70 percent in 2014 over the previous year, according to Mayor Garcetti. (Thinkstock)
Circulation numbers have increased nearly 70 percent in 2014 over the previous year, according to Mayor Garcetti. (Thinkstock)

Los Angeles Public Library patrons are borrowing more digital books, music and videos than ever before, with circulation numbers shooting up nearly 70 percent in 2014 over the previous year, Mayor Eric Garcetti said today.

The most popular digital media items in circulation last year included the thriller mystery novel “Gone Girl” and the soundtrack for the Pixar animated film “Frozen,” while the “The Lego Movie” was the most borrowed video by online patrons.

A total of 2 million digital media items were checked out last year, up 69 percent from the previous year, according to the mayor. In comparison, 15 million books, magazines, music and videos were checked out from 73 physical library locations in 2014.

Library officials said the jump in digital circulation could be due to the LAPL’s expanded media collection, as well as more awareness and growing comfort with the medium by the general public.

City Librarian John F. Szabo said he was “proud of our extensive digital resources and the tremendous response from Angelenos across the city who are increasingly downloading” items from the library’s digital shelves.

Garcetti said he wants “to make sure our libraries keep up with how literature and information are consumed in the 21st century so that they remain as key centers for community and learning.”

E-books saw a 72 percent increase, from about 513,000 checked out in 2013 to 885,000 in 2014. Audio books grew by 69 percent, from about 191,000 to 322,000.

Borrowing of videos, which include movies and television, was up 111 percent, going from about 6,000 checked out in 2013 to 13,000 in 2014.

Streaming music, introduced in November 2013, had grown 600 percent as of the end of 2014, from 15,262 items to 102,147.

Some library branches are also making digital equipment available to patrons. The Palms Rancho Park branch library has iPads that can be checked out, and Nook tablets are available to be loaned out at the Panorama City and Sun Valley branches. The downtown Central Library also loans out laptops and tablets that can be used on the premises.

The library’s other online offerings include live homework assistance, 800 online classes and special collections.

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