LION President’s Report – 2014
2014 continued much of the work that was started in the previous year and realized some important decisions in an effort to continue to support and improve the ability of member libraries to serve their communities. Most significantly, the Clark Memorial Library in Bethany and the Hamden Public Library were fully brought online bringing LION’s membership to 28.
Early in the year there was some concern over the new Zinio Digital Magazine Database. The cost of the $40,000 platform fee and $10,000 content fee seemed expensive in relation to actual patron usage. There was also concern about the level of advertising pushed out to patrons through the site. The LUX Committee looked at EBSCO’s product Flipster as a possible replacement but found the offering was still too new and untested to be a viable substitute. At the same time, some member libraries were having success with Zinio and were reluctant to change vendors. Prior to the renewal date, Recorded Books responded to LION’s concerns by lowering the platform fee to $30,000 and the content fee to $9,000 and promised to work on the advertising issue. The Board voted to renew Zinio for another year with member libraries paying their portion of the costs. Content that was not performing well was eliminated and new titles were added. Libraries that had had success promoting Zinio presented their marketing ideas and practices at the September LUX committee meeting.
Another significant development was the creation of the eBook Development Committee. Chaired by Deb Barberi from Russell Library, the committee is comprised of LION library representatives who choose the titles for the LION Overdrive collection and also make policy and budget recommendations to the Board. eBook pricing continues to be a challenge in LION’s ability to provide the content patrons are demanding. This year, the LION Board approved a $50,000 appropriation from the LION Reserve fund to increase the Overdrive budget from $40,000 to $90,000. In addition, the Board approved increasing the Overdrive Budget for FY 2015-16 to $100,000 with the possibility of adding another $20,000 if necessary.
The Board voted to purchase Innovative’s Agency Hold product that allows branch library holds to take precedence over non-branch holds in the queue. This came at time when LION saw the unique situation of the addition of a non-LION library as a branch of a current member when the East Haddam Library was merged with the Rathbun Free Memorial Library.
LION was sad to see the departure of current Past-President Todd Fabian who accepted a new job as the Director of the Concord Public Library in New Hampshire. As President, Todd was responsible for initiating much of the work mentioned above and I and LION appreciate the leadership and vision he demonstrated during his tenure.
LION President December 2014