Hey folks. Welcome to what in my head I’m calling NCPL Blog, Part 2: Electric Boogaloo. I’ve been with the library since last March, and now that I’ve got my legs more or less under me, I thought I’d devote some time to this blog and chatting with all of you about various stuff. “What kind of stuff?” you wonder. Well, I’ll talk about the programming that we have coming up, as well as various resources we have, from books to ebooks to magazines, DVDs, and pretty soon, neat equipment like record players. And since I’ve started teaching tech classes here, some library focused (like the Libby app for reading library ebooks), some stuff people just want to know about (Windows 10), I’ll probably ramble occasionally about tech stuff, too.
For my first installment, I want to let you know about a new feature from the Ohio Digital Library, as well as provide some inside baseball about how it works. The feature is recommending ebooks and e-audiobooks for purchase with just two mouse clicks. ODL rolled it out late last year, so you may have already noticed it, but even if you have, let me tell you a little more about it.
The North Canton Public Library gets many of its ebooks and e-audio items from the Ohio Digital Library, a large group of Ohio libraries who pool their money to buy electronic materials from a company called OverDrive. Now, OverDrive offers far more books for sale than all of the libraries could possibly buy. Before, the average library patron had no idea what OverDrive had available for purchase, but now when you search the Ohio Digital Library catalog, you will see books available to purchase ODL doesn’t already own at the bottom of your search results.
If you see a book you think the library should buy, just select RECOMMEND here and then RECOMMEND again in the popup box.
Note in that picture, it says the library may not buy what you recommend, and this is where the inside baseball happens. See, even though patrons can only recommend one book a month, in the first two months of the service, NCPL received over 150 requests. As much as we would love to buy all of those for our patrons, the library can’t afford to do that. So, as the person who does a lot of the ordering, how do I decide which to get and which to take a pass on? There are lots of factors: price, timeliness, reviews, if it’s a book we get to own forever or only a limited amount of time, if we already own other books in the series, if the author is popular, is the audio only available abridged….
You get the idea.
Another big factor is if the item is available from hoopla. “What’s hoopla?” I hear you asking. Well, it’s another service for ebooks and e-audio, as well as streaming TV and movies, music, and comics. In fact, when I look at the recommendation list from ODL, my first stop is hoopla. And look! Here is the audiobook I just recommended over at ODL.
I guess that means I can skip buying this book for ODL and use my limited budget to buy a different recommendation that isn’t available any other way.
So, recommend away at the Ohio Digital Library site! We love buying what our patrons want. And don’t forget to check out hoopla, as well. And as long as we’re talking about recommendations, feel free to leave a comment about blog topics you’re interested in. I’d love to use this space answering the questions you have about programs, books and other items, and random tech.