Douglas County Libraries sees its electronic resources as an important extension of the print materials collection and criteria for selection is the same as those used by the library for all types of material. Electronic resources include online databases, eBooks, digital audiobooks and video. Many resources once available only in print are now available in electronic format. Providing our patrons access to electronic resources is an integral part of Douglas County Libraries selection policies. Selections are intended to meet the educational, recreational, cultural, and informational needs of the community and must meet high standards of quality in content, expression, and format. Electronic resources enhance and supplement reference service by providing timely and versatile access to information with 24/7 availability.
Electronic databases extend the collection and are designed to enhance print resources but can also provide more timely information with the frequent updating of material. Some former print resources now only exist in electronic format while other electronic resources have information beyond the scope of DCL’s print collection. Some databases may duplicate print resources that are then evaluated for retention. Criteria considered when selecting online databases include:
- Cost effectiveness
- Currency of information
- Ease of use
- Speed, flexibility, and layout/appearance
- Availability of archived content
- Reduction of shelf space needed for print resources
- Availability of full-text articles that can be downloaded, printed and emailed.
- Uniqueness and scope of content
- Demonstrated need
- Availability of usage statistics and other reporting features
- Availability of remote access
- Hardware and software requirements
Digital Audiobooks, Video, and eBooks
The criteria used for selecting digital media are the same as that used for the selection of print material. To meet the interests of the community, collection emphasis is on popular fiction and nonfiction titles in a variety of genres. Our patrons generally prefer unabridged audiobooks, thus selections are made in this format when available. Some abridged nonfiction titles may be purchased when the unabridged format is unavailable. Occasionally new electronic formats are introduced into the marketplace. These will be studied carefully to assess their suitability for public library use and sufficient time will be allowed to determine whether they will receive widespread and lasting public acceptance before these collections are added to the library.