19 November 2008

Listen Up! Vermont reactions

Sue Webster from the Georgia Public Library posted a great question on the public library listserv about helping justify buying in to the Listen Up! project, and asking for patron reactions. I'll post them as I see them -- those stories are helpful for all of us -- and feel free to post some in the comments below.

I offered Sue some more practical advice (after all, it's hard to create a feel good story from numbers):
  • This Round, Round Three, is the last open round of sign ups. Following Rounds will have an additional administrative fee.
  • I've heard nothing but positive comments from participants -- and I know from my own experience that I am serving patrons I didn't see in the library, and that I am providing them with a service that they can access anytime (and often do -- you can look at the times titles are downloaded).
  • This type of service is not even the future of public library service: it is the present. It is what patrons want now -- convenience, accessibility, simplicity.
  • It is extremely cost-effective. A library looking to enter into a contract with OverDrive alone is looking at a minimum investment of tens of thousands of dollars. Your annual fee gives you access to a collection and service worth nearly $50,000 -- and worth much more in January, with the new round of signups, when we can purchase many more additional titles. Stowe paid $2000 into the GMLC last year (through a combination of materials budget and grant), and even with the collection at 500 titles, it is as though I increased my audio book collection for only $4 a title. You can't do that anywhere else.
  • Imagine an audio collection that takes up no shelf space... requires no repairs... can work with any type of audio player... is available anytime. Pretty nice!
Other thoughts for Sue and other members? At the VLTA conference, Lawrence Webster told us to collect stories -- here's a great opportunity!

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