WPLC eBooks in Library Journal Article

Check out the article just published in LibraryJournal.com:

“Secrets of eBook Success The Digital Shift : Librarians swimming in eBook waters offer tips for staying afloat” by Cynthia Orr


It’s an interesting comparison of trends and practices among OverDrive customers; here are a few highlights:

  • OverDrive websites automatically show the 100 newest books purchased in a new books display. “So if a library buys 400 books once a month, rather than 100 books each week for a month, 300 of those new books won’t get their chance on the front page.” If smaller purchases are added more frequently, patrons see more titles on display, and more titles will show up in the advance search for new additions (purchased within the last 7, 14, etc. days).
  • WPLC and other libraries will add nearly every patron request when possible.
  • Across all libraries, fiction is the best seller, especially romance and mystery/suspense. Reports are showing that requests for cookbooks, travel, computer, business, and history books are up.
  • WPLC’s Sara Gold is quoted in the “What’s Hot” section of the article describing our selection policy and implementing the holds manager, and how we “actively seek out best sellers and books in the ­eBook and audio formats that have long waiting lists for the print version.”
  • Digital rights issues continue to be a thorn in libraries’ sides, and some of the largest publishers refuse to license their digital books to libraries, such as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster.
  • Ebook budgets range from 6% of the materials budget in Lee County (Florida), mirroring their eBook circulation stats, to 15% in Oregon (the state), where it is also tied to high circ. Sara is quoted in the article again, “The 17 library system partners have set a goal of $1 million for content in 2012” based on a formula that includes population and OverDrive use and draws on system funds and billing individual libraries, as well as $300,000 from LSTA.
  • As for patron behavior, “A recent OverDrive study summarized at Digipalooza confirmed that 30 percent of typical users of library digital collections rarely or never set foot in a library building, that 60 percent learn of the service via a website, and that 26 percent stumble upon it through listings in the library catalog.”
  • Checkouts have sky-rocketed: many libraries report up to a 100% increase since January.
  • Libraries have teamed up with retailers such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, or Sony to introduce patrons to ­ebooks with hands-on demos; some retailers will then even send customers to the library for OverDrive training sessions.