WPLC Digital Media Buying Pool
In 2011 the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) http://www.wplc.info/ proposed a funding mechanism for a 2012 statewide digital media buying pool for Wisconsin public libraries. Participation in the buying pool would be at the system level. WPLC recommended that the buying pool be funded at a million dollars annually. The million dollar figure was based on 5% of local collection expenditures for public library materials in 2009. Member libraries would contribute money to support the buying pool by reallocating budgeted money from print or other formats to electronic resources in the buying pool. The idea was to use existing money in a different way, not to allocate new or additional money to the pool. https://www.scls.info/files/Digital-Media-final-report.pdf
Currently the WPLC digital media buying pool costs are based 75% on OverDrive usage and 25% on population for each system. In addition each system pays the WPLC membership fee.
WPLC has several groups responsible for this project:
- Selection Committee – Kelly Allen, Oregon Public Library; Katie Hanson, Madison Public Library
- Digital Library Steering Committee – Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids; Heidi Cox, E.D. Locke Public Library, McFarland; Molly Warren, Madison Public Library
- Digital Collections Workgroup – Katie Hanson, Madison Public Library
- Collection Development –
- Historical & Local Digital Collections Committee – Tamara Ramski, SCLS
Funding within SCLS
SCLS is a member of the WPLC digital buying pool. SCLS pays the WPLC membership fee which pays for the OverDrive platform and allows all SCLS libraries to be part of the pool.
The WPLC Statewide Digital Buying Pool is shared with all SCLS members. Each member's share is based on a 3 year average of their OverDrive usage and Collection Expenditures. In order to best mimic the WPLC formula, 75% of members' OverDrive usage and 25% of their collection expenditures is used. Each member's percentage of 75% usage and 25% collection expenditures is weighted against the total charged to SCLS by WPLC and becomes that library's annual fee. The Advantage Collection is calculated in the same manner.
At the 6/2019 Administrative Council Meeting, it was agreed to replace the 2.75% allocation from SCIDS to the WPLC statewide digital buying pool with an allocation of $6,000 to the SCLS Advantage account. The $6,000 will be taken as part of the annual SCIDS funding amount and not in addition to the SCIDS funding. The new formula was implemented with the 2020 Supplementary Services Agreement.
On 10/25/2019 WPLC held a Roundtable discussion to review issues affecting WPLC and digital media. Their reports and recommendations can be found at https://www.wplc.info/roundtable.
WPLC Roundtable Advantage Recommendation
WPLC should …
- Allow systems to make their own decisions about how to purchase for their Advantage account
- Encourage individual libraries to invest in their system Advantage account instead of establishing their own Advantage account
- Very strongly encourage that individual library Advantage account purchase copies only and continue to contribute to the system advantage account at the expected level.
WPLC justifies their position with the following points:
- Advantage is a win-win, especially with Advantage Plus, because the title goes to the consortium and meets local demand
- The lack of purchasing guidelines is a benefit because it allows systems to fill local holds and support local readership, like book festivals and book clubs
- While individual Advantage accounts allow for nimble decision making for libraries without consulting system or consortia and allows local funds to benefit local patrons, it dilutes the collaborative nature of Wisconsin’s Digital Library, its unique asset and ethos as a statewide effort, and reduces the value of the system
- There are equity issues for smaller libraries that can’t afford an individual Advantage account nor afford diverting staff time toward selection
In support of the WPLC Roundtable Advantage Recommendation, SCLS will allow its member libraries to set up individual Advantage accounts with the following rules:
- Libraries with individual Advantage accounts may only purchase additional copies of materials accessible by all SCLS libraries. This is supported by the LINKCAT policy that items restricted to an individual library’s patrons can not appear in LINKCat.
- Libraries with individual Advantage accounts will continue to contribute to the system’s OverDrive and Advantage programs as full system members.