[Michlib-l] Popular Digital Resources In Public Libraries

Jim Flury jflury at tln.lib.mi.us
Wed Apr 22 16:15:18 EDT 2020


During the time libraries have been closed and library patrons have been without access to physical materials I have handled a few (okay, more than a few; multiple dozens is a more accurate number) inquiries, as well as many actual setups, for digital services. Here is a synopsis of six of those services which have proven to be most popular in public libraries so far: 

1. OverDrive and OverDrive Advantage : Most public libraries have OverDrive, usually as part of a consortia. The price varies according to the population served of the subscribing library. Also available to OverDrive subscribing libraries is OverDrive Advantage. For $250.00 an OverDrive library can enroll in OverDrive Advantage. That $250.00 is turned into a content credit that is used to buy titles/copies that are for the exclusive use by patrons of that library only. Future Advantage purchases are per the discretion of the library. 

2. Hoopla by Midwest Tape : Hoopla [ https://www.hoopladigital.com/ | https://www.hoopladigital.com/   ] is a (mostly) pay per download service that offers ebooks, audiobooks, comics, television shows, movies and music. Nationwide, the average cost of a Hoopla download is currently about $2.06. Recently Hoopla also added to its offerings the same one copy/one user model OverDrive has featured since its inception. Hoopla is also rumored to be rolling out a consortial model, similar to that offered by OverDrive, sometime in early 2021. An initial deposit, the amount of which is dependent upon the pop served of the library, is required to begin with Hoopla. 

3. RBdigital: They offer everything the above two vendors do, with the addition of Magazines (OverDrive does offer magazines again as well) and Newspapers [ https://rbdigital.com/ | https://rbdigital.com/ ] TLN still has in place a Michigan statewide discounted price program with Recorded Books for Magazines (3,500 titles with unlimited access); Audiobooks (30,000 titles with unlimited access); Comics (2,000 titles); Newspapers (2,000 titles); and Streaming Video (AcornTV, IndieFlix, etc). The TLN discounted pricing for these services varies according to the annual circ and/or pop served of the library. 

4. Kanopy : [ https://www.kanopy.com/ | https://www.kanopy.com/ ] Public libraries pay a $2.00 per viewing charge for 72 hours of viewing. There are also unlimited viewing rights pricing options available, but they are not inexpensive. A colleague/friend once described Kanopy as "intellectual Hoopla." That colleague/friend is both considerably younger and a lot smarter than I am, and since I liked that description, we will go with it here. 

5. Flipster : Magazines by EBSCO [ https://flipster.ebsco.com/ | https://flipster.ebsco.com/ ] I have tried for as many years as Flipster has been in existence to convince EBSCO to adopt a truly consortial purchase model for its magazines, as RBdigital does. EBSCO hasn't been willing to do so, though. They have a lot of really, really good titles, including some that are exclusive to EBSCO, ie you can't get them through RBdigital [ https://flipster.ebsco.com/browse-magazines | https://flipster.ebsco.com/browse-magazines ] Price varies according to the title, and the pop served of the library buying the title. 

6. Tumblebooks : [ https://www.tumblebooks.com/ | https://www.tumblebooks.com/ ] Children's animated, talking, unlimited access ebooks (other packages are also available) from a variety of high quality publishers with which you are familiar. Subscription pricing for the TumbleBook Library version for public libraries starts at $799.00 per, but much better pricing is available for consortia. 

Obviously there are many others out there. But the above are representative of six digital services that have proven popular in TLN libraries, and even more so during this time of physical library closures. 

Please let me know if you would like additional information concerning any of these services. 



Jim Flury 
Technical Services Manager 
The Library Network 
41365 Vincenti Court 
Novi, MI 48375 
248-536-3100, ext 133 
Fax 248-536-3098 
jflury at tln.lib.mi.us 

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