Columbus Metropolitan Library named the top public library in the country

The Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated the best library system in the nation as ranked by the Hennen's American Public Library Rating. It is the 3rd time since 1999 that they have been ranked #1 and they have been ranked in the top 4 every year since 1999. Here's a link to the article.

Congrats to Columbus Metropolitan Library!

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From Tame the web

NOTE: American Libraries reported an error in the rankings this year:

American Libraries has discovered an unfortunate error that invalidates the results of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings published in the October 2008 issue of the magazine of the American Library Association.
Thomas J. Hennen Jr., author of this independent study, discovered after the issue was mailed that the figures used in compiling the statistics were the same as those used in 2006.
The new numbers will be posted on the HAPLR website. The corrected tables will also appear in PDF format as soon as possible on the American Libraries website, as well as in the November issue of the magazine.
“Technology is a wonder; it can also be a horror,” said Hennen. “I referred to the wrong data set in my computer files. The result was republishing the last edition, scoring and ranking every library the same for the 2008 as for the 2006 edition. I have now redone things, and I apologize to everyone for this terrible mistake.”
“We sincerely regret this error and the confusion it will undoubtedly cause,” said Leonard Kniffel, American Libraries editor-in-chief. “The HAPLR rankings have been used by many libraries to tout their success to local media, so it is important to get the correct numbers and rankings on the record as quickly as possible.”

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Columbus Metropolitan Library Overdrive System Use

This is more a user comment and / or user request than question.

I have just started using your Overdrive service, which permits users to download audio books, videos, music, etc.

And please allow me to say, it is a fantastic and extremely convenient service - which we as library patrons are fortunate to have, and which I have very much enjoyed using!!

However, I must also say that I find it to be both limited and restrictive, in the sense that it has limited (outdated) movie content (variety), and, a/my much Greater frustration is that library users are Restricted to just/only 5 audio / video downloads approx. every three weeks.

There are no such heavily restrictive limits on regular library audio/video material usage - which makes the teeny, itsy bitsy Overdrive audio/visual checkout limits seem all the more outdated and restrictive/prohibitive.

Moreover, with the growth in and or increase in frequency of patron / average person computer & technology use - I would think that Overdrive checkout limits would be much, much broader, and permissive.

On the other hand, or conversely/however, the Overdrive "only five items every three weeks" restriction, would perhaps not be so bad or prohibitive, if one could check out additional materials once they had "deleted" or removed previously checked out materials from their private online Overdrive (downloaded /checked out) materials database (much like the return of a library book – which in turn makes the checkout of an additional library item available; which is important as you approach usage limits – and becomes particularly important when there are low, low checkout limits - as with the Overdrive system).

For example, or to illustrate this point, If I download five movies, and watch all five in 3 days - and then immediately delete those movies - I must still wait approx. 2+ additional weeks for access to (just 5) more Overdrive materials. Imagine if this were the case with regular library service usage. You would rarely see/encounter patrons.
And what's more or perhaps worse is that there is an overlap between audio and visual material checkout restrictions.

By that I mean, that if I download 5 movies, that eliminates my ability to download ANY audiobooks, and vice versa.

This is a huge and seemingly unjust/untimely (or un-modern ) restriction!

These two items or categories should be classified separately, and have their own independent checkout limits, as they are distinct, and have extremely different usage (viewing) terms!

For example, I can watch a movie in roughly an hour. Some or many could watch 5 movies in a single day. So why Restrict patrons to Just 5 audio and visual downloads approximately every 3 weeks ?? - And why further exacerbate this restrictive usage limit, by committing to, or retaining it, for several weeks, even after or beyond the date upon which borrowed materials have been reviewed and returned / deleted ??

That is like asking me to retain library books which I have read, or do not wish to read, until their final borrowing expiration date – weeks into the future.

Which does not seem exactly logical / or to make a great deal of sense, from a patrons or business perspective/ point of view.

Moreover, Audio books and movie checkout limits should be distinct, because they require extremely different usage commitments - timewise.

As said, Overdrive downloaded movies can be reviewed in just about an hour/1day (but cannot be ‘returned’ for approximately 3 whole weeks). This does not seem appropriate, fitting or logical.

Additionally, or furthermore, audiobooks, generally speaking, will not take nearly as much time as would be taken to read an actual book, so why the low/small (5), and lengthy/restrictive (mandatory 3 week) borrowing limit? It seems highly impractical to attach a borrowing limit (of only 5 items every 3 weeks) to (rapidly reviewed) materials.

In short or in summary, I would again like to thank you for making Overdrive services available to library patrons!
Overall, it is an exceptional service, and a wonderful convenience to library patrons and avid computer users.

However, I would also like to strongly encourage you to take the time to review and perhaps modify your Overdrive subscription services (or content and availability); to encourage you to in particular, review and revise the restrictive / prohibitive and seemingly out of date usage limits imposed on Overdrive material checkouts & use.

I think upon review that you will likely agree, that active patrons, find these limits restrictive/ prohibitive, frustrating, and even perhaps - due to the lengthy checkout time delays which are required, not completely worthwhile.

Note: I would humbly recommend that you increase the number of audio and video checkouts that are permissible during each two to three week time period , and / OR eliminate the inflexible, mandatory 3 week checkout time restriction, and replace it with a much more fluid policy – one which for example permits users to make additional downloads and checkouts, as previously downloaded materials are viewed, and deleted (OR, you might instead modify the checkout file/item download retention duration - to say 1 week, or at most ten days, instead of the much lengthier three weeks –because remember/that way if a download is not completed, or reviewed within the specified time frame – it could simply and easily be downloaded again – without blocking a patrons ability to use Overdrive services for up to three additional weeks).

And lastly, I would like to thank you, for reading my comments!! I truly and sincerely appreciate your taking time out to consider a patrons point of view!

… And, hopefully, you will incorporate one or more of these ideas / suggestions into your Overdrive service offerings; as It would be extremely nice to see Overdrive system updates, similar to the ones mentioned in this email, in the immediate future!

Thank you!!

Yours truly,

Stephanie Pannell
Longtime CML fan & supporter/patron!

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