January 25, 2022

California: Libraries: "The Califa eBook Journey: Introduction"

The Califa Group, based in San Mateo, California, brokers services for 220 muti-type libraries throughout the State of California. The organization recently announced that they’re going to adopt the e-book business model first developed by the Douglass County Library System in Colorado.

A new blog post titled (what will likely be the first of a series), “The Califa eBook Journey: Introduction” is live on the Califa blog and provides some background about what they’ve done and what they’re doing to provide eBook services to members. The post comes from Heather Teysko, Services Manager at Califa.

From the Post:

Califa has been working with eBooks since our inception.  We have a contract with OverDrive for a shared collection from 2004 (we subsequently ended that relationship in 2008).  We have a NetLibrary collection that goes back over ten years.  We have a shared Safari collection.  We worked with Ingram’s MyiLibrary.  One of our member libraries, Pasadena, is piloting the 3M Cloud Library, in part using funds provided by Califa.  In short, we’ve been around the eBook block a time or two, and we are intimately familiar with the pros and cons of the current models.


So Califa is embarking on a journey of creating our own eBook platform and collection, with the goal of opening it up to all members on a pay-to-play basis, but with ownership of the content and platform residing solely with the Consortium.  Yes, we will still need to “rent” some content for now.  But there is plenty of great material out there from publishers who are willing to sell to libraries, that we think we can have a great majority of the collection be owned, not leased.

The blog post continues with a list of three principles that will “guide future developments”along with a few paragraphs where Califa stands today including info about the people, publishers, and organizations Califa has already reached out out to.

The three principles are:

  1. “What we do needs to be able to be scaled, and our development needs to benefit all our members.”
  2. “Content doesn’t have to be fancy.”
  3. “We want to experiment.”

Read the Complete Blog Post: “The Califa eBook Journey: Introduction”

See Also: Large California Consortium Joins Movement Toward Library Ebook Ownership (by Michael Kelley, Library Journal)

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.