LION President’s Report – 2012
2012 was another big year for LION. Just days after the Board agreed at its February meeting to boost the Overdrive collection budget to add more ebooks, Random House announced that it was increasing the price of its ebook materials by as much as 300%. In response, at a special meeting held in early March LION decided to launch a moratorium on purchasing ebook content from Random House. Although attempts to have other libraries join LION’s moratorium have been unsuccessful, we remain committed to not purchasing any ebooks that are priced unreasonably higher than what a retail consumer would pay for them.
At that same February meeting the Board voted to approve adding a third person to provide technical support. We are very pleased that Justin Strickland, who was eventually hired for that position, is now a member of the LION staff.
LION also continued its “smart growth” policy in 2012 when it approved the Acton Library of Old Saybrook’s application to become a member. Acton is a natural fit both geographically and for what it brings to the organization in terms of its collections, and we look forward to having them on board.
Most recently, after a great deal of discussion and planning, LION migrated from III’s Millennium platform to Sierra just a few weeks ago. We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our outstanding LION staff, who did such a wonderful job of making the transition from Millennium to Sierra go so smoothly. I frequently hear from many people who work at libraries that are not members of LION (including those whose institutions are part of Bibliomation or Library Connection) that we have the reputation of being the best, by far, of the major consortia. This is due in no small part to the support we get from Alan, Andy and the rest of LION crew.
Finally, 2012 marks the end of an era as Leslie Scherer, the last of those who were involved with establishing LION back in 1981, retires from her position as Director of the Wallingford Public Library and steps down from our Board. I have referred to Leslie in the past as our institutional memory, but that only begins to describe the countless contributions she has made to ensure this organization’s success. She has truly been an amazing role model for everyone in our profession. I wish her a happy and healthy retirement, and offer my personal thanks for the dedication and hard work she has put in during her long association with LION.
At the moment it appears that 2013 will be relatively quiet by comparison to the year just past but, then again, a year ago we didn’t expect the turmoil over ebooks to occur. Regardless of whatever may happen, however, I’m confident that LION’s future looks bright for many years to come.