Sept. 12, 2011
Dear Kansas Librarians,
As you are aware, the Kansas downloadable econtent service will be changing in December. The contract renewal efforts with Overdrive began in Spring 2010. The proposed new contract included:
- substantial subscription charges to individual libraries in the consortium;
- a 700% increase from 2010 to 2013 for the Digital Library Reserve Server Application Service (platform) fee; and
- removal of language (11.4) that acknowledged consortium ownership of material. Removal of this language also eliminated the opportunity to transfer the materials (purchased by the consortium) to a different vendor.
The State Library was unable to negotiate favorable terms with Overdrive and so the State Library began to look for other options through which we might deliver audio and ebook content toKansaspatrons. On August 5, SLK received “notice of nonrenewal” from Overdrive. The statewide contract will end Dec. 5, 2011.
The search for an alternative method to deliver audio and ebook content has been both exciting and challenging, to say the least! While there may be other vendors on the scene in the future, at the current time, two vendors seemed most ready to offer platform services: Recorded Books to handle audio content and 3M to handle ebooks.
The State Library (acting on behalf of the Consortium) was also required to obtain permission from each of the 163 publishers of purchased audio and ebook content so that the content could be moved to a new platform vendor. As of today, the State Library has received 88 publisher permission forms and has permission to move the content of 3804 audio and 875 ebooks to the new providers.
At this time, the target dates for the cut-over are November for Recorded Books (audio content) and sometime during the first quarter of 2012 (hopefully January) for 3M (ebooks).
I realize this is not an optimum schedule because it will result in a gap between the time the contract with Overdrive ends on Dec. 5, and the date that all econtent will be available toKansasresidents. In order to minimize this disruption in service and to assist you in answering patrons’ questions, please find:
- a list of downloadable audiobook and ebook alternative services, available at no charge, at www.kslib.info/digitalbooks .
- a list of frequently asked questions that your staff can use to respond to patrons.
Librarians and patrons can find this information on line at www.kslib.info/digitalbooks/. You will note that there is a new name for this service (which will include audiobooks and ebooks): Kansas EZ Library. If your library links directly to Audiobooks Music and More, please change the link to www.kslib.info/digitalbooks/ .
I plan to share this information with constituent services in the Governor’s office in case they receive complaints about changes in audio and ebook services. May I also suggest that you share this information with your legislators so that they are aware of these changes and can address any concerns that constituents might bring to them?
Please remember that no one chose this option: the pricing which OverDrive presented toKansaswas simply unsustainable if we wanted to continue to purchase content for our readers. Please know, too, that everyone at the State Library is helping to assess available options and to determine the best way to deliver this service.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have additional questions. I will do my best to find answers for you. Thank you in advance for your patience.