Off the Shelf: The Extremely Popular, WVDELI, Passes Milestones this Month

By Sharon Saye on August 02, 2017 from Off the Shelf via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The WVDELI (West Virginia Digital Entertainment Library Initiative) is passing several milestones this month. This extremely popular download service broke all previous records for the number of downloads this July just below 40,000 items.  And at the end of the previous fiscal year, the number of items purchased since it began in 2008 was over 80,000 and cost slightly over $2,000,000.
               
The DELI consists of eleven members: Bridgeport Public Library, Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library, Morgantown Public Library, Marion County Public Library, Ohio County Public Library, South Charleston Public Library, Kanawha County Public Library, Mary H. Weir Public Library, Fayette County Public Library, Glenville State College Library and Fairmont State University Library.
               
The consortium was established in 2008 with six members and in the following years grew to include eleven.  The purpose was to provide downloadable materials to patrons including audiobooks, eBooks, video and music.  Each library pledges to spend $10,000 per year on content which is available to all cardholders of the eleven libraries 24/7.  Members of the WVDELI have already spent just over $450,000 in content for fiscal year 2016-2017 and circulation is just over 407,000 items for the fiscal year.  In fact, circulation hit a record high in January and has been climbing ever since.  This size collection and circulation would never be possible for an individual library.
               
The platform is provided by Overdrive, a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video.  It can be found in 22,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone, Nook, Android phones, tablets and Kindle (U.S. only.)  It has a new app called Libby that is easy to download to your devices and smartphones which makes checking out items even easier.  Users are limited to 10 items at a time, but you can return them early.  Our top user last year checked out over 400 items and Kanawha County’s top user checked out over 1,000.
               
This level of success presents problems.  The amount of time users have to wait on an item has doubled.  Purchasing additional copies also presents a problem since many publishers set high prices on their eBooks such as $84.00 and $60.00 even though the price of a physical book is $25.95 or $7.95.  Others limit number of circulations or ownership periods.  Another problem that has arisen is the number of users who have cards at multiple local libraries and are placing multiple holds. 
                
For all those users of the library’s electronic services, the library has been offering an eReader workshop to clarify some issues and explain changes.  We have expanded that service to twice a month.  In August, they are scheduled on August 24th and August 30th at 2 p.m.
 



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