May 27, 2017

Ohio: “Local Libraries Struggle to Balance Cost of Digital Services Against Demand”

A report from Ohio.

From the Sandusky Register:

When the CLEVNET library consortium stopped offering Hoopla Digital, the most popular digital library service, almost all public libraries in the Sandusky area faced a choice.

Do they spend additional money to continue offering Hoopla to their patrons, or do they drop the service?

In every case the Register could learn about, local libraries came up with extra money and kept offering Hoopla.

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CLEVNET officials didn’t return a phone call from Register asking about why it dropped Hoopla, but James Tolbert, director of the Milan-Berlin Library District, said Hoopla refused to give CLEVNET a consortium discount. CLEVNET hadn’t raised membership fees to cover the Hoopla cost and found it couldn’t afford Hoopla, Tolbert said.

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So CLEVNET decided to let individual libraries decide whether to keep the service.

Tolbert, who said each Hoopla checkout by a patron costs his library an average of $1.77, decided to budget $1,500 to try keeping the service for a year. Each patron is allowed 10 checkouts a month, the same as before, Tolbert said.

Other libraries mentioned in the article include:

  • Sandusky Public Library: 25,376 cardholder/781 patrons registered to use hoopla
  • Ida Rupp Public Library (Port Clinton, OH): approx. 13,600 patrons/350 registered for hoopla

Read the Complete Article

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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