December 3, 2020

Illinois: A Public Library Director Explains Why Her Library is Ending Access to Ebooks via OverDrive

Here’s an column appearing in the Mattoon, IL newspaper by Ryan Franklin, Director of the Mattoon Public Library, where she explains why the library is no longer providing access to ebooks via OverDrive.

Mattoon, IL is a city of about 18,000 located about 50 miles south of Champaign, IL and 130 Northeast of St. Louis, MO.

From The Journal and Times Courier:

We have been fortunate to have access to eBook and eAudiobooks for more than 12 years, but the price to maintain Overdrive is becoming prohibitive.

Last year our price to have service from Overdrive went up 250 percent. Before, each library paid a flat fee for Overdrive service. This was a good policy for 11 years. However last year, pricing was redone to reflect the usage from each library. It just so happens that our patrons used it more than anyone else in the consortia.

Franklin goes on to explain that his library is continuing to provide access to ebooks via 3M Cloud Library.

Our 3M Cloud Library came about from a State Library grant to make eBooks accessible to all libraries in the state. This grant allowed us to get the collection started, and get the initial start-up fees for each library paid. Our 3M fee is $350 less than our premerger Overdrive price, plus 75 percent  of this fee, we get to spend on books. This program is completely controlled by the users in our consortia [Illinois Heartland Library System].

The column concludes with Franklin sharing his thoughts on the pros and cons of 3M Cloud Library.

Read the Complete Column

See Also: From the U. of Technology Sydney: “OverDrive eBook subscription to cease 30 May”

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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