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eBooks for Wyoming Libraries - February 2012 (see more recent information about 3M at the GoWYLD Libraries site)

One of the most important projects that the WYLD Shared Purchases Committee has undertaken in the past year has been to work on finding the best possible fit for providing access to eBooks for libraries statewide. We have an update to share with all libraries about the progress that we have made.

We are excited to announce that we will soon be providing statewide access to a new service from LibraryIdeas, called Freading. Freading eBooks offer a wide variety of titles from small and independent publishers. At this time, there are over 20,000 titles in the collection and all are available all the time for simultaneous use. Freading does not intend to meet the need for current New York Times bestsellers, but it will offer a very attractive supplement to many collections, especially in nonfiction and genre fiction. Notably, works by Wyoming authors Joanne Kennedy and John D. Nesbitt are available in Freading. We anticipate going live with Freading by mid-February 2012. Details about Freading are available on the GoWYLD Libraries site.

The Shared Purchases Committee reviewed eBook services available to libraries in the spring of last year. Since that time, several libraries in Wyoming have contracted individually with OverDrive. The 3M Company announced their 3M Cloud Library service at the summer 2011 ALA. 3M offers a statewide solution and the Shared Purchases Committee announced the intent to become an early adopter of the 3M Cloud Library last fall.

The State Library will pay the 3M platform fee and will fund the required initial purchase of content. This service is single use (one patron to one copy at a time).

Unfortunately, the company has encountered delays in implementing their beta partners, and our original timeline of February has been pushed back to April 2012, according to the latest information from 3M. We are still enthusiastic about the Cloud Library as a statewide solution, but recognize that some libraries may feel the need to pursue other options for a quicker solution.

Many libraries have indicated an interest in contributing to a shared fund to add to the collections. If your library is willing to contribute towards the 3M collections, please contact the Shared Purchases Committee Chair, Maggie Swanger [ mswanger @ lccc.wy.edu ].

A note about Kindles. Neither the 3M Cloud Library nor Freading are compatible with standard Kindles. However, both will work with the Kindle Fire, as it is Android based. Both companies indicate an interest in offering Kindle compatibility, but we cannot speculate as to when it might be available.

Maggie Swanger
WYLD Shared Purchases Committee Chair
Laramie County Community College
mswanger @ lccc.wy.edu


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