Digital Purchase Program a Winning Plan for Library

St. Cloud, MN, January 2012: Booklovers who purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks can now benefit the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) when they purchase digital content and other items online.

GRRL, which provides services at 32 locations in Central Minnesota, has added a “Buy It Now” link to catalog entries on its Digital Library pages. Library customers can use the link to click through to, Barnes & Noble, BooksOnBoard or Powell’s Books. If they make an online purchase of that eBook or eAudiobook from the commercial website, a portion of the sale will be credited back to the library. The library will also benefit from any additional purchases made through the Buy It Now link.

It’s called a Win Affiliate partnership, and it is managed by OverDrive, the same company that contracts digital services to the library. The library earns credits from each purchase and can use the credits to purchase additional Overdrive eBooks and eAudiobooks. Titles the library selects are at the library's discretion.

“Our digital library is already popular and we’re not currently meeting demand for some titles,” said Mic Golden, the library’s collection development coordinator. “Some of our users will choose to buy an item rather than wait for it to become available. When they make that choice using this program, the vendor is going to provide us with a percentage we can apply to a future purchase. The vendor wins, the library wins, and so do library patrons, because our collection will grow.”

Not all retailers offer the same titles or formats as the library, so individuals may need to check more than one website from the “Buy It Now” link. Not all the content available will be compatible with all devices.

“I’d advise our patrons to review the information on the retailer's website, review the Overdrive information on the library’s website, and review the information relating to their personal device to ensure that they purchase materials they can use and enjoy,” Golden said.

Great River Regional Library (GRRL) provides library services at 32 public libraries in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright Counties. It provides Central Minnesota residents with nearly 1 million books, CDs and DVDs, 250 public computers, programming and information services.