Library digital content, and particularly digital books, is an exceptionally important issue for NEKLS and its member libraries as the publishing industry undergoes a major transformation in how books are delivered to readers. The State of Kansas has implemented a statewide library digital content service, Kansas Digital Books. NEKLS supplements this content with a digital content provider called Hoopla.

The introduction of the Kansas Digital Books service raised a number of questions that about participation by NEKLS libraries in developing that service. Below are answers to questions asked about participation in Kansas Digital Books from Jim Minges, previous NEKLS Director.

Should our library participate in Kansas Digital Books?

Yes, since all Kansas residents will be able to use the Kansas Digital Books collection, all libraries should participate in developing that collection in order to provide a strong collection that will meet reader demand. It is not fair or effective for a few libraries to contribute to a collection that everyone uses.

Does participation in Kansas Digital Books meet NEKLS accreditation standards?

Yes, either participation in Kansas Digital Books or an individual library digital content account will meet the standard that “The library purchases access to downloadable electronic content such as  digital books as part of its collection.”

How much should we spend on Kansas Digital Books content?

That is a frequently asked question. The short answer is that NEKLS recommends that libraries invest at a minimum an amount between 1% and 5% of your total collection budget in digital content. (For NEKLS public libraries, download this spreadsheet that provides the dollar amounts of these recommendations).

However, each library will need to decide the amount that is appropriate for it. There is no mandatory minimum amount, but a digital content funding table is provided indicating what 1% of the library’s 2010 collection budget would be. 1% of the library collection budget is inadequate for this expanding service but provides a minimum amount. A recent Library Journal research study found that 15% of frequent library users preferred books in digital format, but that will vary widely among communities.

How can you purchase content for Kansas Digital Books?

Your library may contribute through a NEKLS group account or open an individual library account.

How will the NEKLS Kansas Digital Books regional account work?

Any library may choose to contribute to Kansas Digital Books through a NEKLS regional account, and we recommend that any library spending less than $1,000 per year on Kansas Digital Books content use the NEKLS system account. Libraries spending more than $1,000 may also choose to use the NEKLS regional account of course. NEKLS will also be contributing approximately $15,000 in system funds to that regional account. The intent of this regional account is for NEKLS libraries to work together in building a strong and coordinated collection, and to simplify ordering procedures.

What is the actual procedure to contribute to the NEKLS Kansas Digital Books account?

digital content allocation form has been provided that libraries may use to indicate intended contributions and preferences. If requested, an invoice in the indicated amount will be provided to the library. Payment should be sent to NEKLS and we will place those funds in the Kansas Digital Books account.

Library Staff Tutorials