Campaign for 2013
The Jefferson County Library Committee met on June 14th to discuss the 2013 funding campaign. Five member libraries were represented. The group decided to seek an increase of $40,000 to be designated for the downloadable eMedia collection while maintaining the current level of $165,00 to be distributed among the member libraries.
The libraries currently receive $165,000 ($1.42 per capita based on 2010 census figures)
The additional $40,000 for the eMedia collection would result in overall funding of $1.76 per capita (an increase of $.34)
The popularity of the eMedia Library, particularly eBooks, has exploded. Current resources make it impossible to keep up with demand. The service, which is provided through Overdrive, launched in April of 2011.
Brief overview of usage:
Total number of items acquired 1175 (Audio 318/eBook 857)
Checkouts Currently 452
Holds Currently 478
Total number of checkouts 18,453 (Audio 3882/eBook 14,571)
Turnover rate Audio 12.21/eBook 17.00 (national average for print is 2.76)
North Country Library System pays an annual subscription (currently $12,000) to use Overdrive. The eBook and audiobook titles are then purchased by member libraries and added to the collection. The system and its members do not actually own the items either. We are paying for licensing to access them.
Publishers do not treat eBooks the same way they do print materials and right now they do not want to sell to libraries. The fear appears to be that sales to individuals will suffer if they do. Some publishers simply will not make their products available through services like Overdrive. Penguin is an example that recently stopped allowing this. We may, however, retain Penguin titles already have purchased.
Other publishers have imposed restrictions. Harper Collins only allows an eBook to circulate 26 times before the library must purchase it again. Some materials come with expiration dates. The Harry Potter books recently added to the collection are only good for five years from the date of purchase. They will then expire and the library system will have the option to purchase them again.
Some publishers have simply increased their prices. Random House has chosen this route. The latest Danielle Steel book is a Random House publication. It costs the individual $12.99 for the Kindle edition at Amazon, but libraries must pay $84.00 through Overdrive.
If we are to better meet patron demand for this popular service, we must find additional sources of funding for it. The Jefferson County Library Committee believes that is a great project to present to our legislators that they will likely support.
We will begin a letter writing campaign to our legislators in late July, just prior to submitting our County funding application. Look for more information on how you can help soon.