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Old 04-27-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
fjtorres
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Libraries pivoting to digital

No shock: since library B&M sites are mostly closed, a great many of them have shifted their entire new book buying budget to digital.

Publishers Weekly documents the extent to which it is happening:

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...y-e-books.html

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“The spending on digital resources we’re seeing now is completely unprecedented,” said Brian Kenney, a PW columnist and director of the White Plains (N.Y.) Public Library, which shut down its building on March 14 and has ceased all ordering of physical materials. “We are taking our remaining funds for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, about $150,000, and spending them almost entirely on e-books and digital audio,” he said. “Most of my colleagues in the Westchester Library System are doing the same. And what we are doing is not unusual, it’s happening at libraries big and small throughout the country.”


The homepage at the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library tells a story familiar to many libraries around the country: as physical libraries close in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, digital library services are taking center stage.


Catherine Mason, catalogue & serials manager for the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, said her library and its consortium—the Digital Downloads Collaboration (which managed some three million digital lends for its members in 2019) has doubled its budget for library e-book provider OverDrive in response to the crisis, and also increased budgets with other providers, including hoopla and Kanopy. The Columbus library is also using social media posts to push RBdigital’s Unlimited Audiobooks, which are simultaneously available to library patrons.

Dianne Coan, a division director for the Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library reported that her library has also boosted digital spending. “We almost always shift big chunks of un-earmarked money to our digital assets, so that part is normal,” Coan observed. “The speed at which this was done, and the options available, were not.”

Library vendors, meanwhile, are working hard to meet the surge. “Every single day we are crossing into new record territory,” said Steve Potash, CEO for OverDrive, the leading e-book provider for libraries. “If I gave you data for today it would be old news by tomorrow. Every day for the last week we’ve had record days,” Potash said, “record days for checkouts, record days for circulation, record days for holds, record days for the number of first-time users, record days for downloads and installation of the Libby app.”

The question is long term effects.
The old "how are you going to keep them on the farm after they've seen Paris" question.


Quote:

Though the Covid-19 crisis is far from over, and the publishers' moves are short term responses to temporary library closures, it's not too early to start thinking about how this rapid digital shift might inform a new, more productive approach to the digital library market long term.

In my opinion, one of the issues libraries face in the digital realm is that the publishers are so deeply invested in 20th-century models. I am hoping this helps shake them out of that,” Parker said. “This opportunity to experiment with different models means that when we start talking again with publishers about how e-lending can work best for all of us, we will have some real data to go on.”

Coan echoed Parker’s observations. “I am really hoping some good data can come from this,” she says. “There are so many rules and constraints flying out of the window—temporarily. It is fantastic to see everyone pulling together to do what needs to be done now, and then we’ll figure it out.”

Kenney said he too thinks about the potential long term impact. “We’re providing virtual reference service 30 hours a week. We licensed Zoom and will be rolling out 20 programs in April, from book discussions, to story times and Reiki workshops. We’ve revamped our website to highlight our digital content. We’re pushing out two e-newsletters a week, one for adults, one for kids, filled with recommendations for what to read or listen to, or view. And people are responding,” he said. “We are bringing a lot of people online, and it’s turning out to be a good experience for them. My guess is that many will want to stay there.”

Potash agreed, and added that he’s been gratified by the more than three dozen publishers who have stepped up to offer reduced-cost and, in some cases, free access to digital content to libraries and schools during this time of need. But the sheer magnitude of the shift, which could reach “tens of millions” of new digital library users, he suggested, portends changes that will almost certainly extend beyond the crisis.

“This is unprecedented,” Potash said. “I think digital library lending and services are being elevated to a new plateau. It's obviously not going to grow at this pace consistently. But it’s going to the next level.”

Much more at the source.
Note the "abundance" of comments at this traditionalist stalwart.
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Old 05-07-2020, 02:43 AM   #2
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It will be interesting to see if there remains an uptick in usage now that so many people are being exposed to, and using, digital services. I'll bet Rakuten are right now re-thinking whether they want to sell off Overdrive...
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:46 AM   #3
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It will be interesting to see if there remains an uptick in usage now that so many people are being exposed to, and using, digital services. I'll bet Rakuten are right now re-thinking whether they want to sell off Overdrive...
There's bound to be *some* long term shift; technology adoption always sees a certain amount of laggards who are content enough with the old and can't be bothered to try the new until it's absolutely unavoidable and discover they like it. The crisis fast-forwarded the need.

They most likely will be phone or tablet users so I wouldn't expect much of a change to the ereader market but the content side should see an enduring boost.

There will be a new normal but it will most likely take the form of a new, higher plateau, not an increased adoption rate; a lot of the recalcitrants will go back to print as soon as they can. Especially the book sniffers and decorators.

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-07-2020 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:32 AM   #4
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It will be interesting to see if there remains an uptick in usage now that so many people are being exposed to, and using, digital services. I'll bet Rakuten are right now re-thinking whether they want to sell off Overdrive...
My physical library card has expired. to renew it have to show up in person at the library in one of the very few hours that humans are present, and go armed with a truckload of ID, photo ID... proof of address....

Crap system... especially as the UK govt has decreed I can't leave the house except for essential travel !

luckily, the e-book borrow system does not seem to care that the card has expired, and the account number + PIN still works
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:26 AM   #5
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My physical library card has expired. to renew it have to show up in person at the library in one of the very few hours that humans are present, and go armed with a truckload of ID, photo ID... proof of address....

Crap system... especially as the UK govt has decreed I can't leave the house except for essential travel !

luckily, the e-book borrow system does not seem to care that the card has expired, and the account number + PIN still works
Some US libraries are now allowing people to obtain or renew library cards without going to the library in person. I wonder if they will keep this up after the shutdowns end or if they will go back to requiring an in-person appearance.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #6
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Some US libraries are now allowing people to obtain or renew library cards without going to the library in person. I wonder if they will keep this up after the shutdowns end or if they will go back to requiring an in-person appearance.
i have not tried too hard to get this sorted because i can still get to e books

one annoyance is that they mostly automated the physical library so everything is done with card swipes/ scanners and machinery - get in, borrow, returns-
the actual human librarians clock in for very few hours a week. It's also the place where I need to go to renew my expired bus pass, but as we are in lockdown that's not worth doing either.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:53 AM   #7
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My physical library card has expired. to renew it have to show up in person at the library in one of the very few hours that humans are present, and go armed with a truckload of ID, photo ID... proof of address....

Crap system... especially as the UK govt has decreed I can't leave the house except for essential travel !

luckily, the e-book borrow system does not seem to care that the card has expired, and the account number + PIN still works
I agree, my library card, of the town where I lived until 5 Years ago, will never expire. And one of the last times I have gone to the library was because I wanted to subscribe the card to borrow ebooks. It also will never expire. I don't understand why things must be so complicated in UK.

And about documents: I obtained my library card when I was a child (my number is 26 of a library that serves a municipality of 30.000 inhabitants) so I can't remember but I am sure that there was nothing particular to do for my mom.

And for ebooks I don't remember exactly which documents I needed but it was something that I normally take with me.

Last edited by ps67; 05-07-2020 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:58 AM   #8
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Some US libraries are now allowing people to obtain or renew library cards without going to the library in person. I wonder if they will keep this up after the shutdowns end or if they will go back to requiring an in-person appearance.
The local Library system has extended Due Dates (without fines) till June 30
My card does not have an expires: date
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:59 AM   #9
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There's bound to be *some* long term shift; technology adoption always sees a certain amount of laggards who are content enough with the old and can't be bothered to try the new until it's absolutely unavoidable and discover they like it. The crisis fast-forwarded the need.

They most likely will be phone or tablet users so I wouldn't expect much of a change to the ereader market but the content side should see an enduring boost.

There will be a new normal but it will most likely take the form of a new, higher plateau, not an increased adoption rate; a lot of the recalcitrants will go back to print as soon as they can. Especially the book sniffers and decorators.
My eleven year old daughter has just decided to try out this elibrary thing using an old tablet available to the children. I'm fairly sure she'll be back to print ASAP, though.
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:36 AM   #10
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I agree, my library card, of the town where I lived until 5 Years ago, will never expire. And one of the last times I have gone to the library was because I wanted to subscribe the card to borrow ebooks. It also will never expire. I don't understand why things must be so complicated in UK.

.
its because they want/need to check that you still live local and thus are entitled to the service ( as opposed to getting the same service from a different library in a different town ! )

same with the bus pass , I suppose. I doubt they worry that I have somehow revere aged & become too young for the entitlement, but still they want to recheck my photo ID....

anyway, the bus drivers are probably instructed to drive all the old folk direct to the police station to be booked for breaking stay at home quarantine
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Old 05-07-2020, 11:36 AM   #11
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I agree, my library card, of the town where I lived until 5 Years ago, will never expire. And one of the last times I have gone to the library was because I wanted to subscribe the card to borrow ebooks. It also will never expire. I don't understand why things must be so complicated in UK.

.
its because they want/need to check that you still live local and thus are entitled to the service ( as opposed to getting the same service from a different library in a different town ! )

same with the bus pass , I suppose. I doubt they worry that I have somehow reverse-aged & become too young for the entitlement, but still they want to recheck my photo ID....

anyway, the bus drivers are probably instructed to drive all the old folk direct to the police station to be booked for breaking stay at home quarantine
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:23 PM   #12
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its because they want/need to check that you still live local and thus are entitled to the service ( as opposed to getting the same service from a different library in a different town ! )

same with the bus pass , I suppose. I doubt they worry that I have somehow reverse-aged & become too young for the entitlement, but still they want to recheck my photo ID....

anyway, the bus drivers are probably instructed to drive all the old folk direct to the police station to be booked for breaking stay at home quarantine
I see, but they could receive any news from registry office.

And anyway it doesn't matter here, everybody can obtain a card of my library, wherever he lives, and, of course, if I want a card of another library there is no problem. May be not all Italian libraries are so open, may be other are more restrictive but I don't know.

Last edited by ps67; 05-07-2020 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:27 PM   #13
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I see, but they could receive any news from registry office.

And anyway it doesn't matter here, everybody can obtain a card of my library, wherever he lives, and, of course, if I want a card of another library there is no problem.
Are libraries funded nationally or locally in Italy?

Locally-funded libraries often worry about free rider non-residents using services funded by residents. It can get politically touchy.
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Old 05-07-2020, 12:33 PM   #14
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Are libraries funded nationally or locally in Italy?

Locally-funded libraries often worry about free rider non-residents using services funded by residents. It can get politically touchy.
Are funded locally (most by municipality), normally. I could check if other libraries are like mine, for curiosity.
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Old 05-07-2020, 01:06 PM   #15
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Are funded locally (most by municipality), normally. I could check if other libraries are like mine, for curiosity.
For example in Milano the card is annually, but You only need to live in Italy (to live no to be Italian citizen).

Also In Roma the card is annually and it is free for landing of pBook but for eBooks there is a quote. Nothing is written about where You must live, so I think it doesn't matter if You have an Italian document.

In Torino the duration of the card is five Years. If I understand correctly You can obtain the card also if You don't live in Torino but for eBook You must live in Torino.

In Varese, a middle town in the north of Italy: Registration is free and necessary to borrow Library materials. To register you must be resident in Italy and exhibit a valid identity document and the Regional Service Card or the Health Card. Nothing is written about duration of the card.

And finally: I live in Tuscany, and also the library of the little town where I live now is free for everyone, also if You don't live in the municipality. I've never gone there, but after the virus may be I will see it, for curiosity.

Last edited by ps67; 05-07-2020 at 01:15 PM.
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