eBook Development, 2016 01


Minutes of the LION eBook Development Committee (eDC) Meeting
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Acton Public Library, Old Saybrook

PRESENT: Deirdre Santora–BR, Trish Connolly-DU, Kathy Sasso–EH, Sara Martone–GU, Amie Lemire—HM, Alan Hagyard–LION, Lisa McAllister–MA, Debra Barberi (Chair, Recorder)-MD, Heather Scussell–MD, Jason Neely–MD, Janet Everett–OL, Rebecca Harlow-OR, Virginia Clarke-OS, Valerie Ireland–RA, Janet Flewelling-WA, Colleen Bailie-WH, Jackie Bush–WH, Brittany Mullen-WS.

Thank you to Virginia Clarke and Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook for hosting the meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting held September 10, 2015 were accepted as written.

The group extended congratulations to Colleen Bailie and Jason Neely who recently accepted Library Director positions and will no longer serve on this Committee.

Alan Hagyard reported that, seven months into the fiscal year, $62,000 of our $100,000 budget is spent. The LION Board approved the requested Digital Content (Overdrive and Zinio) combined budget of $175,000 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016.

Deb reported that patron recommendations are still going strong and asked how others might assist with the review. Rebecca Harlow noted that she reviews the patron cart and often finds items that selectors would have purchased anyway. If these were moved to the selectors’ cart, more patron requests could be filled. In the future, Deb will email selectors when the patron cart is created at the end of each month. Selectors can review the cart and assist with selection.

The list of selectors was updated. Deb Barberi will replace Jason Neely as Overall Coordinator. Rebecca Harlow will replace Jason Neely as Adult Coordinator. Jackie Bush from West Haven will assume Colleen Bailie’s role as Adult and Young Adult selector.

Area/Coordinator FY 2016 Selectors (revised 1-20-2016
Overall Coordinator Deb Barberi
Adult Rebecca Harlow (Coordinator), Jackie Bush, Janet Everett, Janet Flewelling, Teresa Holabird, Amie Lemire, Deirdre Santora, Cathy Shields, Jonathan Wiener
Children Laura Marcella (Coordinator), Lisa McAllister, Rebecca Harlow
Young Adult/Teen Jackie Bush, Rebecca Harlow, Sara Martone, Kathleen Sasso, Heather Scussell (Coordinator)
Patron Deb Barberi (Coordinator)


On January 1, 2016, a Penguin Random House (PRH) sales policy and pricing change took place. All eBook licensing is now “one copy, one-user”. The one-year loan cap for Penguin eBooks was discontinued. The price range for eBook titles is now $20 – $65. The result of the pricing changes is mixed. Alan observed that the cost of Penguin books increased. But, a number of Random House titles that previously cost up to $85 have been reduced to $65 and lower.

With the cost of so many popular titles reduced to $65, it was agreed to recommend an increase in the maximum price for non-circulation-limited titles from $60 to $65. The maximum price of $40 for circulation-limited titles would not change. Deb will present the recommendation to the Board at their Feb 23rd meeting.

Simon & Schuster (S&S) is testing new licensing terms for about 500 titles which are offered with either a 12-month license or a 24-month license — the 2nd year is discounted 50%. While S&S is “testing” this option, we will continue to choose the 12-month license, allow high holds to determine whether additional copies are purchased. We may revisit this option if S&S continues to offer it.

Penguin Random House has nearly 1400 titles on sale until the end of February. To assist with review, there is an Overdrive Marketplace cart named “PRH Jan/Feb Sale” containing all the sale titles. Some titles are pre-order with street dates in February. Some titles have been requested by patrons. Some are titles we already own that may have high holds ratios. Selectors may want to scan the cart when making their February selections.

Trish Connolly will review the current state of expired eBook licenses with Alan and report back to the Committee. Licenses for eBooks purchased under the Metered Access lending model expire after a pre-determined number of checkouts, time period, or both. This licensing model is unique to digital platforms and to digital collection development. Currently, these “expired” titles remain in the LION digital catalog even though we no longer “own” them. We purchase the title again when a patron places a hold. Alan estimates that re-purchasing expired titles with holds currently costs a few hundred dollars each month. Although we anticipate that the number will increase as we build the collection, we do not currently have data or reports to support this.

The expired licenses discussion revolved around whether we should continue the current policy or whether a selector should review expired titles and decide to retain them, re-purchase them or weed them from the collection. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Certainly, there is no cost to retain an expired title in the collection until a patron requests it, however, the current practice does not allow us to control or limit our monthly expenditures. An expired title purchased when a patron places a hold comes from the “High Hold” budget while a title re-purchased by a selector would come from the monthly selection budget, at the expense of purchasing new titles. We are, in effect, spending our high holds budget on items with only one hold rather than items that exceed our high holds ratio. The LUX Committee discussed this issue at their December meeting and recommended that we continue the current practice which is what we decided to do until we meet again.

Alan brought up a “glitch” in reporting Overdrive statistics related to pending checkouts that never get downloaded. After a brief discussion, Deb suggested that this topic should be reported to and discussed with the Board. If the Board requests that we consider the issue and make a recommendation, we will discuss it again at that time.

A suggestion that we purchase selector’s titles twice a month, rather than once a month, was accepted. Beginning in February, we will order on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month. The monthly budget allocation will not change.

The next meeting will be held in Apr/May 2016. Topics for future meetings include:
• Purchasing allocations for FY2017 budget beginning July 1, 2016
• Discussion of how should different lending models affect our purchasing decisions
• Weeding

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