2020: a year for escape
Use of fiction eBooks increased by 30 per cent in 2020.
Surprised? Maybe not so much: the need to escape was often high on the list of priorities this year.
RPL’s digital collections skyrocketed as the province shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, and the numbers remained steady for the rest of the year.
eBooks and eAudiobook checkouts increased by 63 per cent in 2020, and use of streaming movies and television increasing by 213 per cent!
Children and teens
We were very excited to see an increase in use of children’s and teen materials by 117 per cent! We love young readers – woot woot!
We also saw eBook requests expand to topics such as mental health, homework help, homeschooling, and French materials for children and teens.
School support was on the top of many families’ minds, and Regina customers had 739 live tutoring sessions in Brainfuse in 2020.
Mysteries and thrillers top the list
Reginans couldn’t get enough of their mysteries and thrillers in 2020. Page-turners such as The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, The Silent Patient by Alex Michalides, and The Guest List by Lucy Foley flew off the digital shelf as the pandemic forced us into isolation.
TV and movies based on a book
Reginans also stocked up on books made popular by TV and movies: readers followed Beth Harmon's journey into competitive chess in The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis, witnessed the world of the Richardson family upended in Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and fell in love with Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset in Bridgerton, based on The Duke and I by Julia Quinn.
Politics and social justice
World events also dictated reader interest, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, which inspired interest in books such as How To Be an Antiracist and Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi, and Me & White Supremacy by Layla Saad. Books about U.S. politics were also in high demand, most notably Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, and Barack Obama’s A Promised Land.”
Closer to home, the top circulating Saskatchewan books included Five Little Indians, a novel about residential school survivors by Michelle Good; When the Trees Crackle with Cold, an illustrated picture book exploring a Cree calendar by Bernice Johnson-Laxdal; and A Geography of Blood a historical memoir set in the Cypress Hills area by Candace Savage.
What’s up in 2021
Psychological thrillers continue to be in demand in early 2021, and we also expect politics and social justice will be topics of interest. It’s also clear that digital resources will continue to be popular.