eBook Development, 2015 09


Minutes of the LION eBook Development Committee (eDC) Meeting

Thursday, September 10, 2015
West Haven Public Library

PRESENT: Deirdre Santora–BR, Kathy Sasso–EH, Cathy Shields–EL, Lauretta Lyons–GU, Lisa McAllister–MA, Debra Barberi (Chair, Recorder)-MD, Heather Brine–MD, Jason Neely–MD, Janet Everett–OL, Rebecca Harlow–OR, Janet Flewelling-WA, Colleen Bailie–WH, Alan Hagyard–LION.

Thank you to Colleen Bailie and West Haven Public Library for hosting the meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting held June 17, 2015. The revised CD Policies were distributed.

Janet Flewelling shared ideas from the Digipalooza 2015 Conference. Kids and teen e-reading rooms are a concept that the eBook and LUX Committees could work on together. Other ideas include organizing a LION-wide One eBook program or creating curated collections of eBooks Overdrive’s has an excellent offering of narrated eBooks (audio synced with text). Janet also mentioned that LION has trial access to the SELF-e local author reading platform through December. Overdrive also supports uploading local content if the library has copyright and is able to curate. Some libraries “stair step” their digital materials budgets by spending less at the beginning of the budget year and increasing over time. Overdrive is working on a new platform code-named Thunder.

A plot for active and new patrons for the past 2 years and statistics for adult, teen and children’s purchased materials during FY2014 and FY2015 were distributed and discussed. The plot shows that the number of active patrons remained between 2500-3000 per month from July 2013 to July 2014. The period from August 2014 to July 2015 shows a steady increase of active patrons from 3000-4500. This period corresponds to the formation of the eBook committee and the budget increase to $90,000. Also, the number of new patrons remains steady with an average of 477 new patrons each month for the 2-year period. As expected, the results indicate that an increased percent of teen and children’s material purchased were checked out in FY15 when the selection team focused on these areas. The percent of audio vs eBook checkout and holds was unchanged.

                                               Circulation Percentages by Format and Area
                                                  Items purchased during FY14 and FY15

Format  % FY14 Checkouts  % FY15 Checkouts  % FY14 Holds % FY15 Holds
Adult Audio 19.0 15.8 21.6 22.3
Adult eBook 64.1 54.6 58.4 58.5
Subtotal Audit 83.1 70.4 80.0 80.8
Teen Audio 2.0 3.6 1.7 2.9
Teen eBook 11.5 14.7 15.3 11.6
Subtotal Teen
13.5 18.3 17.0 14.5
Children Audio .3 2.1 .3 1.0
Children eBook 3.0 9.2 2.8 3.6
Subtotal Children 3.3 11.3 21.6 4.6
All Audio 21.4 21.5 23.6 26.3
All eBooks 78.6 78.5 76.4 73.7


High holds and patron requests are extremely underfunded. Alan stated that High Holds purchases are a “ lot to balance’–especially with various licensing models. Now, we have expired books to consider. When books licensed by number of uses expire, they remain in the collection with zero copies but patrons can place holds on them. One hold on an item with zero copies registers as a high hold.

Alan targets a holds ratio of 6 for eBooks and 10 for audiobooks. Janet noted that this is conservative as LION buys to maintain the ratio rather than get below it, as libraries typically do, ie. if the holds ratio is 7 and there are 8 holds, another book would be purchased. There is considerable support for having the same holds ratio for audiobooks as we do for ebooks, and we will recommend a ratio of 6 to the Board. Alan will compare our ratio to Bibliomation and Library Connection.

The patron requests are off the charts! We have a monthly budget of $700.00. Deb has retained a cart of unfulfilled patron requests for the past this year – approximately 700 items valued at $18,000.00. She also maintains a cart of patron requests that cost more than the buying limits – approximately 100 items valued at $6,000.00. Unfortunately, we cannot track circulation of patron requested books purchased during the past year because the orders were combined with the adult, teen and children’s books. Moving forward, we will order patron request separately so we can evaluate circulation. Deb Barberi will continue to coordinate patron request selection with input from Heather Brine, Catherine Shields and Rebecca Harlow.

The group discussed the monthly budget allocations in place during FY15 ($90,000.00 budget) and agreed to some adjustments for FY16 ($100,000.00) as shown in the table below. Selectors in the children’s area estimated that $200/month could be moved to adult materials. Rather than increase the area percentages across the Board, a decision was made to use the additional $10,000 to meet the high demands in the area of High Holds and Patron Requests.


                                           FY 2015 $90,000 budget; FY 2016 $100,000 budget*

Area $7500/month FY 15 %/month FY 15 $7500/month FY 15 %/month FY 15
Children 800.00 10.7 600.00 8.0
Teen 1,000.00 13.3 1,000.00 13.3
Adult 3,000.00 40.0 3,200.00 42.7
High Holds 2,000.00 26.7 2,000.00 26.7
Patron Requests 700.00 9.3 700.00 9.3

*Note: $10,000 allocated to “Special Needs” for High Holds and Patron Requests

The group briefly discussed the FY17 (7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017) budget recommendation. With the high holds demands and unfulfilled patron requests, there was considerable support for requesting a $25,000 – $50,000 increase in the acquisitions budget. Alan Hagyard proposed a combined digital services budget of $175,000.00 (which would include Zinio) which was promptly accepted by those in attendance.

The next meeting will be held in January or February 2016.

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