In partnership with Minnesota’s Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) consortium, 3M has developed CloudLink, a new feature for its ebook lending system for consortia. Many consortial arrangements involve member libraries contributing ebooks to a common pool that patrons from all libraries can use. In addition to this functionality, CloudLink also enables any patron from any MELSA library to check out ebooks from the private collections of any other MELSA library, provided there is no holds list for the title.
The panel on ebooks strategy in public libraries took a turn to the practical, with the focus on platforms (OverDrive, B&T’s Axis 360 and Blio, and 3M’s Cloud Library ebook), collaboration through consortia, selection, purchasing, and marketing of ebooks.
Two things were crystal clear, however: ebooks use has exploded in public libraries. And OverDrive isn’t the only kid on the block. In answer to questions from attendees on how to select a vendor, those who have added other ebook platforms along with OverDrive all said they were looking at providers’ maintenance fees and at their own financial resources.