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Connecticut Library to Use Overdue Fines to Fund eBook Program

In a time when most libraries are facing budget cuts, one local library is turning to its delinquent patrons to provide funds for new programs and expansion. The Milford Public Library in Milford, Conn, has recently announced plans to be open on Sundays. They’re also planning to build an ebook collection.

No, their city council didn’t vote in new taxes or other funding. Instead they decided that the library can keep the $32 thousand in fees and fines that the library collects each year.

The library collected around $27,500 in overdue fines last year. They also sold $500 in used books and took in $4,000 in fees for photocopies. Those funds used to go back to the city of Milford, which provides the funding for the library, but it will now be used for new programs.

I have to say that this is a pleasant surprise.  In this age of budget cuts I would have expected to hear the library losing funding because of the overdue fines rather than getting more money.

They’ve already signed a deal with Baker & Taylor, proprietors of the Axis 360.  That means they’ll be using the Blio ebook format. While B&T likes to boast about how rich the format is, that richness is also its Achilles heel. The Blio format limited to  PCs and tablets; there aren’t any ereaders which support it.

Baker & Taylor was promising to have Epub support by April of this year, but as you can see that hasn’t happened yet. Given the technical difficulties, we’ll have to wait and see if they can manage it at all.


image by twechy

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