Library’s e-Resource Circulation Skyrockets
In 1996, I was asked if I thought that the Internet was going to be a threat to libraries. At the time, I said no, but I must admit, I did not yet fully grasp what the relationship was going to be between public libraries and the Internet. The answer was that the Internet was not going to replace the public library, but it has revolutionized what we do. However, it did not replace what we do at the public library.
Today, I am constantly asked if I see Ebooks as a threat to libraries, and I have to say absolutely not! Ebooks go hand and hand with a public library’s mission. Most libraries, including ours, have Ebooks available for you to download right now!
Ebooks are not a threat. Libraries will circulate Ebooks. It is that simple. Some came to the library looking for books that you needed for a specific purpose, such as estate planning. Other people came to the library looking for popular titles. That hasn’t changed. Whether you’re looking for books in e-format or print, the library has titles for you.
It has become clear that the variety of e-resources that the library has made available is being utilized by the public. Our Ebook circulation is up 90% over 2013. That represents about 25% of our total fiction circulation for the Gettysburg Library. The number of new users of this service is growing by about the same number of new library card users we have in the library.
Our Eaudio book circulation has also increased by more than 100%. Right now Eaudio book circulation represents about 1/3 of all audio book circulation for the entire system. That is an amazing increase and as more people have cars which connect to Bluetooth or usb devices, we will see that number and percentage increase.
This year we added Freegal, which lets you download and stream music through the Internet. Users can download five songs a week and stream music for up to three hours a day. This has been an instant success, and after only 6 months, we have as many downloads and streams as we have music CD’s checked out of the libraries.
This is an amazing uptick in use. The library system as a whole still has close to 70,000 registered users which is close to 70% of the entire county with library cards. These cards can be used to day to download ebooks, eaudio book and music. We will continue to bring you more titles and more options as we identify them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and most happy new year!