We did some research to see what was possible re e-books, besides OverDrive which seems too expensive for our [Canadian] setting. (I have followed Glenn McEowan's posts with much interest. But we don't have the geographical population for a consortium, etc, etc... )
Has anyone researched other options, such as Baker & Taylor/Axis 360? We would love to hear your yays and nays re e-books through something other than OverDrive.
Does the absence of response mean people have not considered other options for e-books???
We use OverDrive at our library. They do give churches discounted rates if you ask but they are still high for most churches. We are very satisfied with OverDrive and would be glad to talk to you about it. Our patrons love it. I don't know a lot about other choices but they are out there.
Paul, not sure how we connect, but would appreciate a conversation.... would you give me your email address to start?
Library@Bellevue.org. Would be glad to talk with you. Just send me an email and we'll work it out.
I happened to come across this blog post about Open Library:
Several blogs will be listed. I have looked only at the first on the list.
I know of one church "considering" Baker & Taylor services - First Baptist, Austin TX, At least they were last year.
Another eBook provider, 3M, with their 'Cloud' reading has been quite interested in the church market. They seem to be more flexible with the consortia structure than OverDrive. At this time, 3M does not have a provision for authenticating (i.e. confirming the borrower is from your church) with some of the popular ILS programs such as Concourse and PC Card Catalog. 3M can work directly with Atriuum, though. I do not know if any churches that have actually signed with 3M yet.
I agree with Paul. OverDrive has recently been quite aggressive in signing single-church systems. They have quoted some attractive pricing (for small churches, at least.) You might want to get back with them. And they do work well with smaller ILSs.
Thank you, Paul and Glenn! I hope to get back to this in the near future. Much appreciated!
No matter what service you consider, you need to look over the publishers they work with. We (our ECLA California chapter) considered Overdrive but found that a lot of our popular authors/publishers weren't working with them, or didn't have e-books at all.
On the other hand, we found a city public library near us that used Overdrive and offered us free borrowers' cards if we registered in person, regardless of where we lived in the state. This library has a large Christian readership so they also have Overdrive for both regular and Christian books.
Great thing about e-books is no handling them (processing, repairing, dusting, etc!) but there is a time commitment in selection and cataloging for your collection. When you run with volunteers, you may not have enough time donated, unless you have ravenous readers who can help you and will because they want to read those books!
I too have looked into OverDrive and went to a workshop at CSLA in summer of 2013 to learn more about OverDrive. I agree that it is too expensive and no options to combine churches for a consortium. I have a wonderful school librarian in our congregation and he's looked at a couple of different options for our church library without any success. He said to be patient and something will come along within the next 1-2 years. He suggested purchasing some Kindles and load about 20 books on the Kindle for checkout. Personally, I think everyone has their own Kindles and can download any option that they want especially with availability of Amazon Prime. Be patient.
Now that I see Paul Adams picture, I believe he spoke to us at CSLA in SC last summer.
Bev, that was not me. I must have a look alike.
Overdrive has a list of publishers they carry and I found a good listing of Christian publishers. We examined the list carefully before signing up to make sure we could have access to most of the mainline Christian publishers. We have been satisfied for the most part but there are gaps.
I have also heard that Overdrive does allow church consortiums and there are a group of churches in Dallas on Overdrive together.
The advantage of a church library offering eBooks is that patrons don't have to worry about getting an inappropriate title that you have to wade through in the public libraries. Our patrons love it. Just wish it wasn't so expensive so more church libraries could do it. Not only is the yearly contract high the cost of many of the titles are more expensive than books and some will only allow you 26 check-outs and then you have to buy the title again. As indicated just be patient. Better options will probably be coming soon.
Not sure if you've considered the amazon lending library option?
any books in your kindle library can be loaned to another person for a 2 week period from when they access it.
If you've built up or are building up an amazon kindle ebook library of free ebooks, it doesn't take long
to have a sizeable number available for lending... just a thought ;)