Preparing Your Digital Collection for An Influx of Users
Can Patrons Access Your Collection?
“Consider the following:
- Perform a mass renewal/extension of library cards: Such extensions will prevent patrons from losing digital access to your services and reinforce social distancing.
- Ensure staff have mobile/remote access to your ILS: Remote access will ensure staff can deal with any cardholder issues that may arise going forward, lest patrons be cut off from your digital branch without recourse.
- Enable patron-driven temporary cards: In Suffolk County, we are allowing patrons to sign up for a temporary card, good for 90 days. This card can be used to use databases, digital media, and other online services. Such an option can provide critical access to new users, as well as serve as a stand-in for lost or expired cards.”
Is There Anything for Users to Borrow?
“While spending more on content is a good first step, there are several other approaches you can take to make your expenditures go further:
- Draw attention to collections with favorable borrowing rules: Collections like Hoopla, Kanopy, and others employ a cost-per-checkout model ensuring items will always be available, which can reduce user frustration. Additionally, some vendors are making a shift from one-copy, one-checkout to simultaneous use.
- Curate free digital collections: Project Gutenberg has a massive collection of public domain eBooks. For audiobooks, try sites like LibriVox. In both cases, you can provide unlimited access to a fairly expansive collection of classics.
- Rationing: This is probably the least attractive option. Simply put, rationing would involve tightening lending rules, such as limiting the loan period of materials or reducing the number simultaneous loans by an individual user. This can effectively allow more people to borrow less material. Consider this a last resort.”
Keep Abreast of Recent Vendor/Publisher Changes
Don’t Forget the Kids!