By the time this reaches you, the details will have been worked out for a trial run of Mango Languages, a commercial database I mentioned in my last column. If all goes as it should, our tech god will make it available from our website and I will be emailing instructions for access to those in the community with a special interest, like ESL instructors and those patrons connected to the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. I will also send out an email to several of the lists I have to notify those patrons the date the trial becomes active. There will also be instructions on the website for those of you who use our website or Facebook page. If you need more information, give the library a call, the staff can give you the information you need to try out this library product.
When it comes to dealing with companies with any kind of product we use, from audio books to paid databases, the words “change of policy” generally mean they are going to ask for more money, give nothing more in return or give you something you don’t want. I am sure those “bundles” Shaw and Telus offer were introduced the same way. This might be a little different; minutes ago I was informed that Overdrive, the company that provides libraries with digital books has made some policy changes. Of course they have: ebooks have done nothing but increase in popularity and, as was pointed out, this Christmas is going to be huge in terms of sales for e-readers and iPads. Most of the books made available now are also Kindle friendly, which will increase the sales substantially.
Overdrive is the corporation that distributes Library-to-go and there is not a library website in North America I have looked at that does not mention either Library-to-Go or Overdrive as their ebook supplier. They own the digital books for library world and it is like the utility companies in the Kootenays — there is no choice and you have to have what they are selling. Overdrive has just said that libraries that serve populations of over 100,000 must have standalone collections. As it is now, all libraries in B.C. participate in a consortium purchase of materials and our cost is shared with all libraries. There are 10 systems in the province serving populations of over 100,000. All but two of these libraries, Coquitlam and Thompson Nicola are renegotiating contracts, and the rest of us “will regroup to reconstitute the collections subgroup.” That means, “Libraries remaining in the consortium should budget for a slight increase over last year’s assessment.”
Last year, the Creston library paid approximately $600 for our participation and considering on last check there were 126 ebooks loaned out from our library in the month of September, I think it is going to end up being a good deal for the library even with an increase in the cost to us. We have been informed the notice of increase will arrive within the next month. More on that as information comes in.
Just another reminder about the Nov. 21 showing of Oceans of Plastic at 2 p.m. in the library meeting room and the Friends of the Cinema presentation of Buck at the Tivoli on the Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Ann Day is the chief librarian at the Creston and District Public Library.