We discussed whether Lion should invest in shared kits, and if so, would the primary purpose be for libraries to test the equipment before investing in it for their own buildings or to use the Lion kits for special programs with the public. Some ideas for kits included 3D pens, Magna-Tiles/Magformers, littleBits, robots, Lego Mindstorms, Arduinos and Raspberry Pis. We decided to ask the Board to support shared kits as a new Lion service, and if passed, to form a task force to decide which equipment to purchase and how the program would be managed.
Please tell Alan if your library would like a turn with the Keva planks.
Alan provided an update on the first month of eCommerce. In November, $1400 was collected Lion-wide. The service is fully up and running, so please promote it to the public. Let Patty know if your library wants a weekly report of eCommerce transactions.
Wallingford is experimenting with sending early literacy tips to parents via SMS using a free service called Clearstream. This was inspired by similar service at Brooklyn Public Library, who is using a paid mobile marketing service called Velti to send both early literacy tips and their Innovative circulation notices. Alan got a quote from Innovative for their own SMS Alerts module at a price of $15,000 plus $1,800 annual maintenance. We are going to investigate the functionality of Innovative’s module and get more information about Velti for the next meeting.
Expired OverDrive Titles
Our current practice is to rebuy expired titles when a hold is placed. To the patron, it appears that the item will be available eventually. If we do not repurchase, the hold is never filled and the patron is not notified that the item will never be available. We can weed expired titles, so they do not appear in the OverDrive interface. Alan estimates we spend several hundred dollars monthly rebuying expired titles with holds. We discussed the benefits (more money to put toward the high hold queue) and drawbacks (investment of staff time, removing items that were carefully selected and still in demand) of weeding and decided to recommend to the eBook Development Committee that we continue the current practice.
OverDrive Local Content and One Book Programs
We are able to add local content to OverDrive and to offer One Book programs via a short-term simultaneous use purchase or multi-copy discounts. Please let your staff know about these options in case someone wants to spearhead the effort for either.
OverDrive will roll out the new version of the interface starting in January. We do not have an ETA for Lion. With our update, they will also turn on Kids and Teen eReading Rooms.
OverDrive has dropped the direct linkage with Project Gutenberg, but we can select titles manually to add to our collection. The eBook Development Committee will address this issue.
Simon & Schuster now offers both one- and two-year expiration, with a somewhat lower cost per year with the two-year option. The eBook Development Committee will determine the purchasing policy at their upcoming meeting.
Wallingford shared the new poster they created, based on the marketing materials provided by Recorded Books. It will be available as a MS Publisher file on the Lux Marketing page of the Lion web site.
Most libraries report that they do one-on-one training for Zinio instead of group classes.
Justin gave an update on the status of the Lion-wide Minecraft server. About a dozen libraries are actively participating at present. Please get involved if your library is interested. The Minecraft Committee is working on policies and configuration options. Justin will give a presentation open to all staff of Lion libraries on the benefits of gaming. It will be held in January at Wallingford, exact time and date TBD.
Middlefield is re-joining Lion in January. ML is their Sierra abbreviation.
March 2016, date and location TBD.