Downloadable Audiobook Recruitment and Signup Page

This page contains information that will assist libraries in making a decision on joining the statewide Downloadable Audiobooks project.



Libraries must fill out, sign, and return the OCLC Washington Audio Book Order Form by February 19, 2010. The Order Form is available on the project home page.

The deadline for joining the initial phase of the project was extended through February 17, 2010.

  • The "Intent to Participate" form must be completed and returned by that date in order for a library to receive the benefit of the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) subsidy funding which will be applied to lower prices for libraries.
  • Libraries may choose a later date on which to actually join the project, but must make that commitment by the cutoff date to receive a subsidy benefit
  • To join, please fill out the Downloadable Audiobooks Intent to Participate Form.
  • On Tuesday, Dec. 15, we held an online Q&A session for the project. That session was archived, and is now available for viewing and listening in Wimba format. A video format will also be available soon.

Notes for K-12 School and School Districts

  • The Feb. 17 deadline does not apply to K-12 schools and school districts. K-12 schools may sign up at any time. K-12 pricing is already so incredibly low that no further subsidy will be applied.
  • OCLC will accept new accounts monthly, so schools not ready to return the intent form by the Dec. 21 deadline may sign up in February for a March start date, and so on.
  • Later start dates will be for a full 12-month subscription with a later renewal date.
  • Prices may go up at some point in the spring, but it should be a typical annual increase in the 5% range. Schools which sign up after any announced price increase would be subject to the new pricing.
  • To join, please fill out the Downloadable Audiobooks Intent to Participate Form.

Subsidy and Discount Information

Because 41 public and academic libraries have signed up to join the OCLC consortium, there will be a 10% discount off the OCLC prices for public and academic libraries as listed in the pricing table below. To calculate the discount, multiply out a library's cost using the table, then subtract 10%.

For the first 12 months of the project, public and academic libraries joining the OCLC consortium will receive a 50% LSTA subsidy. That is, after calculating a library's cost (see the previous paragraph), the State Library will pay 50% of that cost, using federal LSTA funds provided through IMLS (The Institute of Museum and Library Services). The library will pay the remaing 50% of the cost. Subsidies in subsequent years may be lower. K-12 prices are already so low that no additional subsidy or discount will be provided.

For libraries joining the OverDrive consortium, the project will pay 100% of the $1500 startup fee required of each library by OverDrive. For libraries whose annual cost ($0.13 times population served) exceeds $1500, the State Library will subsidize 50% of any cost above $1500. See additional OverDrive information further down the page.

Summary Information and Key Points

OCLC NetLibrary Recorded Books package

  • For all nonprofit public, academic, and K-12 libraries in Washington, the project provides the opportunity to join an OCLC NetLibrary consortium.
  • This consortium offers libraries a group of prepackaged Recorded Books collections from which to choose. A library may subscribe to one or more of these collections.
  • These are annual subscriptions, not one-time purchases.
  • The collections are "unlimited use," meaning that there is no limit on the number of simultaneous users that can download and listen to any book title within the collections. All of the titles are available to all users all of the time.
  • The anticipated "go live" launch date for these collections has been delayed to February 1, 2010, due to ongoing contract negotiations.

OverDrive option

  • For some public libraries, there is an option to join an OverDrive consortium.
  • This option is limited to public libraries that do not currently have an OverDrive account, and which serve a population of fewer than 100,000. 
  • The earliest "go live" date for a library joining the OverDrive consortium will be February 1, 2010.
  • Libraries that are eligible to join the OverDrive consortium may join the OCLC NetLibrary group instead, or they may join both groups, as they choose. 

Jump to more information on the OverDrive option.

To sign up for this project, please fill out, sign, and return the Downloadable Audiobooks Intent to Participate Form.

OCLC NetLibrary Information

This consortium purchase offers annual subscriptions to the following pre-set Recorded Books collections:

  • Core Adult Collection (1,858 titles)
  • Children and Young Adult Collection (769 titles, can be split into two separate collections)
  • Academic Collection (568 titles)
  • Audiolibros Spanish-language Collection (125 titles)

There is some overlap between the collections. The total number of titles in all 4 collections combined is 3,320, of which 1,072 are currently iPod-compatible. For more information about these collections, including links to title lists, visit the OCLC NetLibrary site. There are an additional 7,147 titles available for individual purchase by libraries. In addition, Recorded Books offers 182 titles from the Pimsleur Language Learning Series which can be purchased individually by libraries.

Recorded Books Subscriptions offer the following automatic updates:

  • Adult Core Subscription - The library will automatically receive an additional 15 titles per month.
  • Children/Young Adult Core Subscription - The library will automatically receive an additional 5 titles per month.
  • Academic Subscription - The library will automatically receive an additional 5 titles per month.
  • Audiolibros - The library will automatically receive an additional 6 Spanish language titles per quarter.

OCLC NetLibrary Pricing

The base pricing for these collections is as follows (tribal libraries should use the public library pricing):

Library Type Measurement
Recorded Books Collections
Core Adult
Children/ Young Adult
Young Adult
Public Per thousand annual circulations (cap of 5,000,000 annual circs)
Academic Per FTE (cap of 25,000 FTE)
Community College Per FTE (cap of 12,500 FTE)
K-12 Per student (cap of 25,000 students)

Public, academic, and community college libraries will receive a 50% LSTA subsidy on their first year subscription costs. Subsidy levels for subsequent years will be determined going forward, based on availability of funding, and other factors. It is a goal of the project to reduce and eventually eliminate subsidies.

For K-12 libraries, the base pricing is already so low that no further subsidy will be applied. The K-12 pricing is contingent, however, on at least 20 libraries other than K-12 purchasing at least one collection, so the low K-12 price is, in effect, subsidized by the entire consortial group purchase. This goal was reached in the initial recruitment phase.

The measurement caps mean that if a single institution's count exceeds the indicated cap, that institution will still pay only the capped amount. In the case of K-12 schools, the cap is applied on an individual school basis, not to an entire school district.

Technical Information

Information regarding the technical requirements for accessing the OCLC NetLibrary system are available on the OCLC web site as follows:

If your library or school needs trial access to test the technology requirements on your system, please contact Will Stuivenga, the project manageer for temporary access.

Training and Marketing

OCLC will provide training for library staff with both in-person and online sessions, at no additional cost. The State Library will work with OCLC to develop a statewide training plan.

OCLC provides a free NetLibrary marketing kit to help promote the eContent both inside and outside the library. The kit includes customizable posters, table tents, ad slicks, Web banners, e-mail announcements, press releases, and marketing ideas. This material can be downloaded from the NetLibrary website.

Related offers from OCLC

Libraries that purchase a subscription to at least one of the NetLibrary Recorded Books collections listed above may take advantage of other purchase options from OCLC NetLibrary and Recorded Books.  

Signup for the OCLC NetLibrary Recorded Books offer

In order to jointhe statewide OCLC NetLibrary Recorded Books consortium, please fill out, sign, and return the Downloadable Audiobooks Intent to Participate Form. There will be other documents to fill out and sign also, including an OCLC order form, plus the NetLibrary Library Audio Book Agreement. These forms will be made available at a later date.

OverDrive Information

Eligible public libraries choosing OverDrive will join the existing OverDrive consortium that was founded by and is currently managed by the Whatcom County Library System. This consortium's OverDrive collection is known as the Washington Anytime Library. The management of this consortium will be centralized, with management of day-to-day operations probably outsourced to an organizsation like BCR.

The earliest date by which a library joining this consortium could expect "live" service is May 1, 2010. This date is based on existing OverDrive development schedules. Libraries may also indicate their intent to join later in the year.

The Washington Anytime Library currently has 1,035 titles, of which 75 are "max access" items, meaning they are available for simultaneous use. The rest are single use titles, meaning that if a title is checked out by a user, it is unavailable to others until the checkout period expires. Currently patrons have the option of selecting a 7 day or a 14 day checkout period. The collection also includes multiple copies of some high demand titles, making a total collection of 1200 items.

OverDrive Pricing

There is a $1500 one-time participation fee for each new library that joins the consortium. The State Library will fully subsidize the cost of this fee using LSTA funds.

Each library will pay its proportional share of the annual "Application License and Hosting Fee" that the consortium pays to OverDrive. Each library will also make an annual contribution to the collection. These costs are divided proportionally among the participating libraries, based on each library's population served. Currently those two contributions combined equal $0.13 per population served. So public libraries considering this option should multiply their population served by $0.13 to determine their initial annual cost. Additional LSTA subsidies will be applied as follows: any library whose fees exceed the $1500 subsidy applied to the initial participation fee, will have the amount in excess of $1500 subsidized at a 50% level.

A library that wishes to join the OverDrive consortium must fill out and return the Downloadable Audiobooks Intent to Participate Form.

There will be other documents, including an agreement with OverDrive, and one with the consortium, that the library will also have to sign. These will be made available later.

Contact Information

To ask questions about any aspect of the information presented here, please contact the Project Manager:

Will Stuivenga
Downloadable Audiobooks Project Manager
Toll free 866.586.7575

Feedback We encourage your feedback. If you have comments or suggestions, please use our feedback form.

Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).