Douglas County Libraries (DCL) and partner the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) were awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant of $209,460 for their project proposal, “eVoke 2.0: Colorado Statewide eBook Pilot Project” in October 2013.
The project team, consisting of staff from DCL and CLiC, felt that the ever-increasing use of e-books and e-readers demands that libraries become strong players in digital content delivery to remain vital and relevant to the communities they serve.
From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of Americans who owned an e-book reader leapt from 18 to 33 percent, up from 6 percent in 2010. (Governing Magazine, July 2013, “Can Libraries Survive the eBook Revolution?”). According to Forrester, the projected number of e-book readers will increase exponentially from 3.7 million adults in 2009 to a predicted 59.6 million in 2015. At the same time, e-book spending will reach a record high of nearly $3 billion (Forrester, Research eReader Forecast, 2010-2015).
Library Consultant and project director Jamie LaRue said, “With the knowledge of these findings and predictions, it is urgent for libraries to be forward thinkers and leaders in the e-content digital world.”
Jim Duncan, CLiC executive director added, “Library districts, and rural libraries in particular, lack the funds, personnel or expertise to innovate for this future or to build and maintain an infrastructure that will enable the acquisition and delivery of e-books. So in order to assist libraries throughout our state and hopefully, globally, we felt now was the time to proactively face this challenge and find a solution for all libraries.”
The goal of the eVoke project was to develop an alpha-stage, end-to-end cloud e-content infrastructure that can provide digital content purchasing and lending capabilities to all Colorado libraries.
After seven months of work, the project is nearing completion. An alpha-stage, e-content management platform has been 80% developed, and currently meets six of eight functional requirements as determined by the eVoke advisory committee, including representatives from the Colorado State Library, CLiC, Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, DCL and Marmot Library Network.
Milestones such as allowing library users to search and access e-content alongside physical content, see real-time availability, and download titles from within library catalogs have been successfully achieved.
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.
The project team, led by project manager Monique Sendze, associate director of information technology at DCL, will lead the testing phase. The team will contact libraries for participation, gather results, and report on findings. Regular project updates will continue to be posted at www.evokecolorado.org. Sendze encourages interested members of the community to visit the project website. If you would like to be part of the testing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
The Colorado Library Consortium connects 400+ libraries to better serve Colorado residents. Core services include operation of the statewide library courier, cooperative purchasing for a variety of products and services, delivery of continuing education events and in-the-field consulting, and AspenCat, a union catalog serving nearly 50 libraries. Learn more at http://clicweb.org.
Douglas County Libraries is a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning. It checks out more than 8 million physical and digital materials annually. Seven locations offer wifi, research resources, Storytimes, public meeting spaces and interesting programs and events for all ages. For more information, visit DouglasCountyLibraries.org.
“This program was funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act.
“The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.”