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Colorado’s Statewide Library eBook Pilot Project Enters Beta Tests

Douglas 7413758502_b9b95654cb_b[1]County Libraries announced on Monday that their statewide digital library project was entering small scale pilot test.

The DCL had partnered with the Colorado Library Consortium last year to create eVoke 2.0. Using funds provided by a federal grant, the eVoke project seeks to duplicate the Douglas County Libraries' pioneering ebook library platform and enable other library systems in Colorado to launch similar platforms.

The Douglas County Libraries is well-known in library circles for their ebook library. Unlike the majority of public libraries, which have partnered with OverDrive or one of the other library ebook vendors, the DCL launched their own ebook platform several years ago.

This library system, which is about 30 miles south of Denver, does have contracts with 3M Cloud Library and OverDrive, but they also buy ebooks directly from publishers (and some distributors like Smashwords). As of last November, the DCL had a collection of 45,000 titles, including 27,000 titles which they were maintaining on their own servers (and checking out the ebooks to patrons). In January the DCL added another 10,000 titles purchased via Smashwords, and they have probably added more since.

Buying ebooks directly enables the Douglas County Libraries to reduce costs and to better invest their funds. Unlike the libraries who have solely partnered with OverDrive, the DCL will not lose access to their self-hosted ebook collection if they stop paying the maintenance fees to OverDrive and 3M.

And with the launch of the eVoke project, other libraries will be able to share in the DCL’s good fortune. The Colorado Library Consortium and the Douglas County Libraries announced on Monday that the project is now entering the testing and demonstration phase, in which select libraries from around the state will be invited to test the platform.

When complete, the eVoke 2.0 platform will enable each of the participating libraries to maintain their ebook collections and check titles out to patrons. They will also be able to acquire new titles from publishers.

eVoke 2.0 website

image by Muffet

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