We hear a lot of questions and comments about CloudLibrary, some positive, some negative, some just not sure what it's all about. So, while you're here, we'd like to take you through a few of them and set the record straight. If you're looking for a full-blown explanation of how to use CloudLibrary, please have a look at the information provided by MaineInfonet or have a look at this information here. Always feel free to bring your device into the library, we'll help you get it set up.
1. I wanted to check something out, but it had a hold list over a year long!
We hear you, it's incredibly frustrating, but just like with a physical print book at the library, the most popular titles and authors are hard to keep on the shelves. The libraries that participate as purchasers in CloudLibrary can't afford to buy unlimited licenses for each title. Each loan of an ebook or audiobook lasts a maximum of 3 weeks, but it is rare that a person keeps a book for that long. The majority of the time, you will get that book well before you expect to. If a book is available in 208 days, like the newest Louise Penny above, that means there are about 10 people ahead of you in line as the calculation assumes each person will hold the book for the maximum amount of time possible.
2. I can't ever find anything that is available for check out.
This one is a little easier to answer - have a look at your filters. If you update your filters to only show you what is 'Available Now' you won't have to play the guessing game of how many days you have to wait. Another option is to get off the 'Featured' page and jump over to 'Browse'.
The 'Browse' page will give you subject headings to chose from and includes more than the newest book releases that show on the 'Featured' page.
3. I found a book in the JAMM Library catalog, but it doesn't show up on CloudLibrary. Why not?
Unfortunately, these two catalogs are completely separate and refer to different collections of books. The electronic editions on CloudLibrary are either purchased by the Maine State Library or other larger libraries around Maine, such as the Portland Public Library, Scarborough Library, or the Lewiston Public Library. These libraries then in turn make the titles available to all the public libraries who use the CloudLibrary system. We at JAMM Library don't have any control over what appears on CloudLibrary, but if you have suggestions for the physical print collection at the library, we're always happy to hear them!
4. What's this fuss about the Maine State Library boycotting Macmillan's books?
If you want to read the nitty gritty, this article on the Library Journal should do the trick. The general gist is that Macmillan has made it impossible for libraries to purchase more than one ebook or audiobook license until eight weeks after a book has been released. Macmillan says they are doing this to protect their print sales, but libraries all around the country have been boycotting the purchase of Macmillan books in response. The Maine State Library has joined in with this boycott as well as many other libraries in Maine and will not be purchasing Macmillan books on CloudLibrary for the forseeable future.