16 January 2008

To do, or not to do.... ?

Several libraries have needed a W9 in order to cut a check to the GMLC. The only way we can really do this (without me looking like I've made an additional $25,000 this year!) is to go ahead and start the process of registering the Green Mountain Library Consortium as a 501(c)3.
  • This has a variety of impacts --
    • one, we need to go through the process and pay for a lawyer's time (unless any of you out there are married to or know a lawyer who might do this pro bono). This will run us between $1000 and $3000. We've made more than our goal amount, so we can afford this.
    • two, the eventual not-for-profit needs a board and a financial person. I don't think this would be at all time consuming, especially since policies will have been written and created prior to the board forming (we should have bylaws and a selection policy soon). This board would need to file a form with the IRS each year. So, we'd need some volunteers or have elections, etc.
    • three, it makes the consortium that much more able to apply for grants or seek fundraising from outside our member libraries.
I think we might all need to be honest and think about whether or not we think the GMLC will need to be around longer than possibly this summer. I think it may -- there is no reason why, even if this project was taken over on a statewide level by the DOL at a point in the near future that we couldn't band together and provide access to something else!

If you have an opinion, vote:



And, as we get our site started with OverDrive, we need to agree upon a few things:

  • checkout period -- how long should a book remain "checked out" to a user? One week, or two? The file becomes unusable after the checkout period on a person's computer, but not on their mp3 player or burned cd. New Hampshire chose one week.
  • number of items a patron may have out -- how many downloaded audio books should an individual be able to have at a given time? 2? 3? 5? New Hampshire chose 3, and I think we want to choose a small number in order to have the largest amount of our collection available and keep holds lists shorter.
The Selection Committee was leaning toward one week for checkout; if you think it should be longer, email me at schase[at]stowelibrary.org and let me know. In the absence of responses, we'll go with one week. I might also suggest 2 audiobooks at a time, for now, so again, lack of response will indicate agreement. How does that sound?

Please vote on the 501(c)3 option by next Monday, the 21st, and email me by Friday the 18th with your thoughts on the circulation questions. Next week, we'll get out a draft selection policy for approval.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Circulation:
Hello, all. Our audio books are a huge part of our circulation. Our
patrons travel. To meet our needs, a 2-week checkout period is best. We
have many 2nd homeowners that check-out audios as well. 1-week just isn't
enough. Our library would like to see a 2-week checkout period with 2 books
at a time.

501(c)3:
If there is talk of DOL taking over this enterprise, I see no need to form a
501(C)3. The funds to do so could be used towards audio selections.

We are all busy and do any of us really have time to participate on another
board? I say keep it simple.

This program seems to have overwhelming support from our libraries. If in
the future we felt the need for another service, I bet we would all jump
onboard again.

Thanks to all of you that have made Overdrive possible!

Jill Tofferi, Fletcher Memorial Library, Ludlow

Nancy said...

If it's true that downloads from OverDrive remain usable on cds and on mp3 players after the check-in date, then I suggest a one week loan period, so that more patrons will be able to access the material.