The New York Public Library is the largest public library in the United States with over 6 million items in its physical collections. Did you know they also offer the largest digital collection in the country with over 75,000 copies and more than 35,000 titles available for borrowing? It’s especially impressive since Amazon has a competing program that allows you to borrow an ebook directly from Amazon.com without having to go to a library. The list of borrowable Kindle Owners’ Lending Library ebooks only shows about 5,000 titles that you can download directly from Amazon to your Kindle. So the NYPL currently has that beat by about 30,000 titles. You can find and checkout all those ebooks at ebooks.nypl.org.
Those numbers are almost definitely going to go up as downloads of ebooks from their site grew 82 percent over the last year. And all that growth happened before the Amazon Kindle Fire launched on Monday. Over five million of the tablets had been pre-ordered so that’s a lot more people with an ereader in their hands.
No doubt many of those people will be clamoring for a wider selection of ebooks to be available at their local library. It will be exciting to see how much the digital offerings grow at the largest library in the country now that the largest seller of ebooks has launched their own tablet.