[Libs-Or] Kindle Checkout Program

Hadziomerspahic, Amila Amila.Hadziomerspahic at oregonstate.edu
Thu Aug 6 18:29:03 PDT 2015

Hi Teresa,

OSU's Valley Library checks out 6 Kindles. Here's our website for them, if you're interested: http://library.oregonstate.edu/kindles. 

Five of the Kindles are the new Kindle Voyage - we upgraded less than 2 months ago after having the older Kindle Keyboards since June 2009 - and one is a larger Kindle DX that's no longer made by Amazon. When we started our program in 2009 we had 18 Kindles but had to reduce to 6 because of licensing restrictions. All 6 of the Kindles have our entire 800 Kindle eBook collection loaded on them. In addition to that, patrons can request up to two titles with a total cost of $20 via our website's online request form; the vast majority of our 800 Kindle eBooks were purchased based on patron requests. The Kindle eBooks are in our catalog as well as on a separate Library Thing account so patrons can discover which books we have available in multiple ways. The Kindles check out for 2 weeks, overdue fines are $1/day and we only checkout Kindles to OSU-affiliated people (students, faculty and staff). We circulate each Kindle and its charger with a protective Belkin sleeve and some basic laminated instructions in a carrying case. 

Let me go over some of the pros and cons of our Kindle program. The pros are that it offers a sizeable fiction collection to our patrons; since we are an academic library we don't do a lot of purchasing of popular fiction books so our patrons use the Kindles mostly for reading fiction. Another pro is that our collection is patron-driven and we make it really easy for patrons to request books and we almost always purchase them as long as they are under the $20 limit. And, patrons can keep requesting books for the next time they get the Kindle. Now, the cons. Because we only have 6 Kindles the wait for a Kindle can be really long. Sometimes the wait is as little as two weeks but sometimes it's several months. We've thought about getting more Kindles but then we'd have to repurchase our entire collection or split the collection between Kindles (which I'd rather not do at this point). And because the wait can be a while there are patrons that don't use the Kindle program because they'd rather order the book through Summit or ILL and get it sooner (unless it's a new release). That said, many (if not most) of our Kindle users are repeat borrowers so clearly the Kindles are well-liked. We almost always have an active waiting list so they're also fairly popular; this is especially true in the last two months since we upgraded them. Also, according to a survey we used to circulate with the Kindles, a lot of patrons borrow Kindles to test them out before buying their own so we're also providing that service, albeit unintentionally.

I can go into a lot more detail about the requesting and book purchasing process but I won't here; if you'd like to hear more of the details, please email me and I'd be happy to share!
Thank you,
Amila Hadžiomerspahić
Valley Library Circulation
Oregon State University

-----Original Message-----
From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Teresa Lucas
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 4:25 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [Libs-Or] Kindle Checkout Program

Does anyone checkout kindles in your libraries for patron use? We are exploring the idea and want to know if it is feasible for our library. I would love to hear your comments - pro and con. Thank you, Teresa Lucas

Teresa Lucas
Assistant Director of Library Services
1800 Sherman Avenue
North Bend, OR  97459
(541)756-5442 X 0035
(541)756-1076 Fax

"Librarians should be doing things to induce gasps of amazement!" Eli Neiburger

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