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WPLC Digital Media Buying Pool

WPLC Digital Media Buying Pool

In 2011 the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) 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.

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:

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 are 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.

Advantage Collection

In late 2013, all libraries within the South Central Library System agreed to contribute toward the OverDrive Advantage program. Annually a total of $20,000 is allocated for this program, which supplements what is available through Wisconsin's Digital Library. In 2019, the Administrative Council voted to use $6,000 of SCID money to annually purchase SCLS Advantage materials. It would be effective for the 2020 SCLS Advantage fund. This is in addition to the $30,000 contributed by SCLS member libraries.

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

On June 15, 2022, SCLS held an OverDrive Advantage Discussion (recording) to review the Advantage program and answer questions.

On May 18, 2023, SCLS member libraries voted to increase the OverDrive Advantage amount to $30,000 for 2024.

On May 16, 2024, SCLS member libraries voted to increase the OverDrive Advantage amount to $40,000 for 2025.


The November 17, 2022, All Directors meeting ratified using a 1 LIBRARY, 1 VOTE method in regard to determining the budget amount for the SCLS Advantage account.
Most popular vote wins, a 51% percentage is not needed.

The individual member fees for the SCLS Advantage account will use the weighted method.

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 accounts 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

Individual Advantage Accounts

In support of the WPLC Roundtable Advantage Recommendation, SCLS will allow its member libraries to set up Individual Advantage Accounts (IAA) with the following rules:

  1. 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.
  2. Libraries with Individual Advantage Accounts will continue to contribute to the system’s OverDrive and Advantage programs as full system members.

Individual Advantage Account Set-Up:

Member submits a request to SCLS with:

  • Library Name:
  • Contact Name associated with the Advantage account:
  • Email Address that will be connected to the Advantage account:

SCLS approves the request and notifies WILS with the library information.

WILS & an OverDrive customer representative will contact the member library to set up an account. There is a $250.00 minimum which will be applied as a credit to content.  OverDrive can provide additional training plus their Resource Center has live training on various topics plus archived on-demand recordings to get familiar with Marketplace.
Members that have an Individual Advantage Account are:  Cross Plains, Fitchburg, Madison, McFarland, Marshfield, Middleton, Mount Horeb, and Verona.

2024 Digital Buying Pool

2024 Advantage Buying Pool

2024 WPLC Magazines Fees

2023 Digital Buying Pool

2023 Advantage Buying Pool

2023 WPLC Magazines Fees

2022 Digital Buying Pool

2022 Advantage Buying Pool

2021 Digital Buying Pool

2021 Advantage Buying Pool

2020 Digital Buying Pool

2020 Advantage Buying Pool

2019 Advantage Buying Pool

2019 Flipster Costs

2019 Digital Buying Pool

For more information, contact: