OverDrive Holds

Just a reminder that the library will be closed Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1 next week.

Last week in my newspaper article I touched on some of the services the Nebraska Library Commission provides to libraries and patrons across the state. One of those services is being the curator and billing department for the OverDrive Libraries Consortium in Nebraska.

The Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Consortium has 173 participating member libraries sharing over 43,611 ebooks and audiobooks. This partially explains why you sometimes can’t get that hot book you want right now. (Another reason is publishers, we’ll get into that next.)

In an effort to make sure we have enough books to meet the demand of our members the Consortium has instituted a policy on holds.  Our policy is that we will try to keep our hold ratio at 5. Meaning that for every 5 people on hold for a book, the Consortium buys another copy. This ratio started at 8, then 6 and now 5. We say “try” because as licensing models from vendors change sometimes the cost is too prohibitive to continue to buy copies that will expire in 24 months or after 52 checkouts.

Another option became available a few years ago – we as a library could become Advantage members. Meaning, for a small one time additional fee, the library can purchase titles directly from OverDrive that are only available to our patrons. I try to go through the holds list weekly and see what titles patrons have on hold on OverDrive, what number they are in the queue, and then how much that book costs. If the book is reasonably priced (usually in the $20 range or below) I will happily purchase it and then that pushes our patron to the top of the list and they will receive a notification that their title is available. Last year, they offered an additional feature of being able to share those titles with the Consortium with our patrons always having first pick and we receive a small compensation from the Consortium for sharing titles that can be applied to our yearly OverDrive membership fee.

Next week I’ll discuss how publisher licensing rules are affecting purchasing titles from OverDrive.

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