Monday, March 31, 2014

Top 3: Wisconsin's Digital Library

For my "top" three items I've included:  the MPL webpage that serves as a user's guide to OverDrive; the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium's collection development statement; and an NPR radio piece that covers some of the issues and conflicts confronting libraries as they try to meet demands for ebooks. 
Wisconsin’s Digital Library, Powered by OverDrive.” Madison Public Library. Web. 30 Mar 2014.
This webpage, on Madison Public Library’s website, answers questions about what OverDrive is, how to use it (including video and screencast tours), mobile device instructions. The page includes a FAQs wiki, a list of compatible devices, and a series of downloadable guides. 

Burchell, Justine (WPLC Board). “WPLC Collection Development Statement.” Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. Web. Accessed 29 March, 2014.

The WPLC is the consortium composed of 17 regional library systems including South Central Library System. Each system appoints 2 members to the WPLC selection committee (24 for adult; 10 for youth). According to their policy statement their scope is meant to be “broad, current, and popular” with a focus on bestsellers. Selection emphasis is on “contemporary significance” rather than “enduring value.” The first 2 of 11 selection criteria include “expressed or anticipated need in the general community” and then “availability of titles from vendors.” The statement includes a clause on intellectual freedom, noting that WPCL aims for a collection with “information spanning a broad spectrum of opinions.” While I’m not sure I’ll be able to answer my own question, I’m interested in how availability from vendor(s) limits a broad spectrum of opinions or “needs, interests, and viewpoints” of an “incredibly diverse” community.  

Neary, Lynn. “E-Books Strain Relations Between Libraries, Publishing Houses.”  Morning Edition. NPR, Washington: 5 August 2013. Radio.

Part of NPR's series on American libraries, Neary interviews Jo Budler, state librarian of Kansas, Jamie LaRue of Douglas Co. Libraries (Colorado), and Carolyn Reidy of Simon and Schuster. Librarians and publishers are experimenting with different ebook models. LaRue is attempting to bypass middlemen (like OverDrive) all together; Douglas County system deals with 900 small publishing companies and had 40,000 titles in its collection (WPLC had 37,000 titles through Dec. 2013, not including multiple copies the same title). Budler is pursuing a similar model. Reidy, the publishing representative, is pushing a model that would allow affiliated libraries access to their entire catalog, but would use the library as channel through which it could sell ebooks, such as bestsellers for which patron access often involves staggeringly long wait lists.

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