How is Florida SHARES different than Overdrive that I participate in with my local public library?
There are several differences in Florida SHARES using Axis 360 than existing "Overdrive "collaborations with local public libraries. Major difference are:
1) Overdrive is a great local collaboration program and Florida SHARES is not intended to be a replacement or "either/or" situation for participants. Florida SHARES ebooks and audiobooks are intended to be shared with students, faculty and staff at participating public higher education institutions all across the state of Florida. Alternately, most Overdrive collections are only shared with local community members within the institutions' county or service district.
2) Overdrive title records are normally housed in the lead public library catalog as a "discovery tool", or possibly only with the Overdrive platform itself. Florida SHARES title records are loaded into the institutions' Primo shared catalog, thus better utilizing the existing FLVC discovery infrastructure for students, faculty and staff. If users don't know materials exist because the material is not indexed in the library catalog, the material is less likely to see use.
3) Collection development for public libraries is often different (focusing on popular titles), while collections for academic institutions is more focused upon academic disciplines and resources that foster student academic success. Often very popular titles in Overdrive have extensive "hold" lists, because the materials are popular in nature.
4) Currently Overdrive books are only available to users who hold a local public library card. In some cases where students and faculty may not live within the community (online learners), they may not always have the option to gain a local library card because of non-resident status. Florida SHARES seeks to offer all participating students, faculty and staff access regardless of location as long as they are part of the participating higher education institution.
How much does it cost for an institution to participate in Florida SHARES?
Participating institutions are encouraged (not required) to allocate some percentage of their local ebook purchase budget to help collectively build the Florida SHARES collection over time. If your institution does not have any funding at all, we still want to offer this opportunity to all students, faculty and staff at participating institutions. We hope that if you see the value of shared collections, that over time, you will seek (and contribute) additional funding locally to help build the shared collections. We do hope that the larger public higher education institutions (especially those with sizable online student populations) will consider the value of allocating budgetary resources to help our colleagues across the state of Florida.
Who selects the ebooks and audio books that are included in Florida SHARES?
One of the unique strengths of the Florida SHARES project is that each participating organization gets to select anything they want to add the collection. Instead of a small committee or group making all collection development decisions, your local team of librarians and acquisition staff make those decisions. Baker and Taylor (the company that hosts Florida SHARES on their Axis 360 platform) provides easy tools to select and process ebooks and audio books that you can locally add to your own collections as well as share in the Florida SHARES collection.
How would my institution benefit from participating in Florida SHARES?
There are several ways an institution can benefit from collaborating in Florida SHARES.
1) Currently there is no way to easily share eBook and audiobook materials like is current practice with physical book interlibrary loan (ILL) processes. As many students go online for their coursework, quick access to eBook materials is essential to their academic success. While physical ILL can fulfill some of these information sharing needs, physical ILL is often slow and costly for the user and the provider of the material.
2) A shared collection, developed by many participating institutions, can be much larger in size and scope than any single institution can afford to build by themselves. Sharing some resources that the institution planned to purchase anyway can provide access to many more resources, making access to users much broader than local collections.
3) Demonstrated usage of library materials is incredibly important to resource development and continuing budget justification. Florida SHARES will increase usage of eBook and audio book materials across institutions, making future institutional budget justifications much more palatable to decision makers.