OverDrive Update: Wisconsin’s Digital Library to Grow Even Faster in 2017



What’s new about the WPLC Wisconsin Digital Library and the shared buying pool?

In the early part of 2016, WPLC’s Digital Library Steering Committee discussed increasing the buying pool amount above $1 million for 2017 to address high hold volumes on the most popular titles, the one persistant fault exacerbated by the Digital Library's popularity and success.

Inese Christman is our Library System’s WPLC Digital Steering Committee representative.  In April (4/27/16) she shared a survey asking if WVLS members might support such an increase.  There were ten responses to that survey with 50/50 split on support.  One of the “no” respondents included a comment that the library would support an increase if it could be used just by WVLS member libraries to help our Central Wisconsin patrons.  The WPLC Digital Library Steering Committee eventually presented a recommendation to increase the buying pool amount in 2017 by 15% which was subsequently adopted by WPLC.

A 15% increase: How is WVLS helping your libraries ease those already-tight budgets? 

Members will only share in the base $1 million of the Digital Library Buying pool during 2017 as WVLS is subsidizing the difference in member libraries’ shares – approximately $7100 – and we will work with member libraries to simplify future budgeting utilizing a trailing recovery model.  WVLS will be freezing the cost sharing among members for 2018 shares at the 2017 levels, and applying changes that would have been realized during 2018 instead in 2019. Whether WPLC maintains the buying pool at $1.15 million or reverts to the original $1 million over time, from now on WVLS members will have over 1 year to plan for share adjustments.

Where is the 15% buying pool increase going?

In 2017 the additional funds are part of the primary buying pool but in 2018 and forward, the additional amount will likely go into Overdrive Advantage accounts.  The WPLC Formula Work Group has presented a recommendation to the WPLC Board to dedicate the additional $150,000 to target holds reductions through OverDrive Advantage programs in each Library System.  The formula for sharing the $150,000 would be different than the primary formula, focused instead on the number of holds placed in the previous year relative to other Library Systems.  Using the proposed formula results in a share increase that is about $1,100 less for our Library System.  

A vote to adopt this separate formal for the additional 15% will take place at the upcoming WPLC Board Meeting on April 26th.  In preparation, WVLS has established an OverDrive Advantage account and the WVLS Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a $20,000 fund to help member libraries dramatically enhance overall patron experience with the Digital Library.  We’ll be asking for help from the membership to develop, implement, and maintain this new OverDrive Advantage Project (find out more in an upcoming Digital Lites post).

Submitted by Joshua Klingbeil

Anne Hamland / ahamland@wvls.org