SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating) and Rochester Public Library (RPL) are teaming up to offer more digital titles to southeast Minnesota residents.
Under the OverDrive RLA (Reciprocal Lending Agreement), library cardholders have greater access to eBooks and audiobooks, in each organization’s OverDrive digital collection. The agreement allows the regional library system and the Rochester library to offer digital books similarly to the way the two organizations share physical materials.
“Our patrons have been requesting this type of service for years,” explains RPL’s Head of Readers Services, Kim Edson. “The lending option wasn’t available previously, but it’s been something we’ve investigated with SELCO over the years.”
The RLA agreement was approved in late spring by the governing boards of both RPL and SELCO, and the two organizations launched the new service at the end of June.
“We wanted to work out any potential issues before formally announcing the agreement,” says SELCO Executive Director Krista Ross, adding, “However, the OverDrive platform is intuitive enough that we already have users engaging with this new service.”
The popularity of Libby, a digital reading app, has, in part, led to an increase in circulation for digital titles. At RPL, the circulation of digital materials increased 8.5% in 2017 with over 550,000 digital downloads from OverDrive and other digital services. At SELCO, users accessed 175,000 titles in 2017, an increase of 4.6% over the previous calendar year.
“We continue to see our digital collection being more popular,” says Edson, adding, “We hope that by giving all residents in the SELCO region the ability to access both collections, we will help meet the demand and maximize the use of our respective collections.”