eVoke 2.0: Colorado Statewide eBook Pilot Project

The eVoke 2.0 eBook Project is a LSTA-funded project to roll out the Douglas County model for e-books in public libraries, as used by Douglas County and Marmot libraries etc, to the whole state of Colorado. A significant portion of the work is developing a prototype e-book management system which is scalable to the whole state.

The broad aims of the project are to:

  • Host e-book content for the state of Colorado. Initially, the content in the system is expected to be non-Big 5 content (a la the Douglas County model), and additional hosted systems such as OverDrive will still be in place. In the long run, however, it is hoped that Big 5 content will be able to be hosted in the system as wel.
  • Develop an e-content management module, which would enable the purchasing, cataloguing, discovery and circulation of hosted e-books.
  • Develop APIs to allow the e-content management module to talk to external Library Management Systems.
  • Demonstrate the above with 3 major Library Management System environments in use in Colorado – Koha/Liblime as used by AspenCat; Sierra/Vufind as used by the Marmot Library Network, and Sirsi/Dynix Horizon as used by Douglas County.
  • Develop a sustainable model for Colorado libraries going forward, including business, pricing and policy models.

The complete grant application has been made available, which outlines in more detail the goals and plan for the project. The project is being spearheaded by Douglas County libraries in collaboration with CLiC and others, and is initially expected to run until October 2014.

Douglas County model

Douglas County Library created their own ebook lending platform. The library hosts content locally, and established its own IT infrastructure, including developments to Vufind as a discover layer, and purchasing an Adobe Content Server for managing DRM on loaned copies. They also contacted (smaller) publishers directly to negotiate the purchase and ownership of e-copies of books (including a substantial commitment to purchasing from Smashwords). The model operates on a one-user-one-copy basis, imitating the lending situation of physical books.

Evoke Colorado (of which DCL is a member) hosts a description of how the model operates.
DCL’s own website provides a list of publishers they collaborate with, as well as an open letter from the Library Director about ebooks and DCL.
Evoke also provides an example of DCL’s letter to approach publishers, their Statement of common understanding for purchasing electronic content, and a description of the technologies used by DCL and others adopting a similar model.