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As Southern Marylanders practice social distancing, they are catching up on their reading lists and taking advantage of digital books offered through their public libraries. The region’s top 10 downloaded books include memoirs, an older fantasy favorite and recent bestselling novels.

The top 10 books downloaded from Southern Maryland public libraries since March 16 are:

  1. “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum” by Michael McCreary
  2. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
  3. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  4. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  5. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover
  6. “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty
  7. “One Good Deed” by David Baldacci
  8. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
  9. “Twisted Twenty-Six” by Janet Evanovich
  10. It’s a tie! “Blue Moon: A Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child and “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes

Libraries recently increased access to online library materials through a boost in funding from the Southern Maryland Regional Library Association (SMRLA). The funding supports 24/7 access to e-books, audiobooks, streaming movies, TV shows and more. E-book downloads are provided through the digital service Overdrive, which allows library customers to borrow and read free e-books, audiobooks and magazines using a phone or a tablet. Each county library system curates a custom collection of titles in Overdrive developed specifically for the community.

Library customers can also access movies, music, audiobooks, e-books, comics and TV shows through the Hoopla platform to enjoy on a computer, tablet or phone. Additionally, more than 3,200 free online versions of the most popular magazines are available through digital media provider RBdigital. All of these services are available on county public library websites.

To help regional customers, the library systems of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties have increased the number of digital items that can be checked out at one time, delayed the due dates of materials and extended renewals of library cards. New customers can get 180-day temporary e-library cards to use for digital materials/resources through a “Get a Card” link on library websites. Many library locations also offer free WiFi access from their parking lots.

To learn more about library services, visit your public library website:

Access to digital magazines and other downloadable materials is also available on the Collection of Southern Maryland’s Online Services (COSMOS) website.