In place of the Week in Review this week is the report below on the fall meeting of the ConnectNY library directors which took place earlier this week at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, New York.
- eBook Project – We reviewed the full year data from 2012-13 for our EBL eBook project where each library contributed 1% of our acquisitions budget to a central pool to provide access for electronic books. Patrons can then access ebooks through the catalog either triggering a short term rental or a purchase of the title based on the nature of the use. Overall, the project has been financially successful for the consortium in that the cost spent on the project is less than what we would have spent collectively to purchase print copies of the titles that have been used. For West Point specifically, our users accessed 234 titles over the course of the year. Based on Yankee’s average price for an academic book title last year, those items would have cost us approximately $20,500. Our contribution to the ebook project was just under $15,000, so we came out ahead in cost. We are now in year two of this project, which I believe will continue as a ConnectNY initiative going forward.
- New Circulation Policy – We will soon be activating the ability for items that are loaned through ConnectNY to be recalled for those schools that permit recalls. This will then allow the planned extension of the loan period to be put in place. The new loan period will be 42 days. This will result in our standard loan period being shorter than the ConnectNY loan period. I expect this to be effective in the new year.
- Shared Print Trust – We continued discussions around the idea of a shared print trust, or an agreement among ConnectNY libraries to retain certain titles as last copies, while allowing other libraries to deaccession duplicate copies. There is not full consensus yet around how this should play out in detail. More conversations will be ongoing.
- ConnectNY/Discovery Data – RIT is piloting a process by which records from the central catalog can be imported into discovery layers at each institution to allow direct finding of shared resources. Hopefully this will be available in the next 30-45 days.
- ConnectNY Expansion – We continue to look at expanding the consortium. There are two other institutions who have expressed some interest. No firm plans to bring them on at this point. We are also looking at a resource sharing arrangement with NExpress, a consortium of six liberal arts colleges in New England. That would allow for an expanded pool of items for our patrons to access. More details on that will be coming in the new year.
- Strategic Planning – The Executive Director of ConnectNY, Bart Harloe has announced he plans to retire at the end of 2014, so we are now beginning discussions on the strategic future of the group and where we want to go. That will inform the search for a new Executive Director. We spent some time discussing how to go about moving forward in this area.