On Your Mark, Get Set, and Go! with the Amigos eShelf Service

-by Christine Peterson, E-book Project Manager and Continuing Education Librarian

The initial version of the Amigos eShelf service is very close to being a reality. Before I get into the details of the upcoming launch, let me provide a brief background on how we began this nearly two-year effort.

In July 2013, we began researching possibilities for creating an ebook platform for Amigos members. Libraries that responded to our call for assistance with the project attended a brainstorming session to tell us what they wanted an ebook platform to do for them. Based on this information we moved forward, creating a service based on the Douglas County (CO) Model, but modifying it to fit our members' needs.

Over 25,000 ebook titles from 60 imprints, of interest to both public and academic libraries, will be available as part of the initial version. Publishers include O'Reilly Media, ABDO, Xist Publishing, namelos, Gihon River Press, Crossroad Press, and Rowman & Littlefield. All will be available for libraries to purchase, add to your collections, and offer via download to your patrons.

In this first version, we will be able to handle two types of authentication: barcode number and IP range, e.g., proxy server. Other options are in development and, if you are interested, we would like to pilot some of these options with you.

We can provide RDA-compliant MARC records based on the metadata provided to us by the publishers. If you would like your ebook titles to reside within your integrated library system, we will provide you with the MARC records and also cover art if available.

If you prefer to keep this collection of ebooks separate from your collection, we will host these ebooks and provide you with an Amigos-created search interface for your patrons. This interface is based on responsive design, so it should function on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. We will customize this interface with your logo and colors.

As I noted, we are currently in our final phase of testing this service that will be available in Summer 2015. However, if you'd like to try it out before then, we have an offer just for Amigos members.

Early release of our service will be available, exclusively to Amigos members, in Spring/Summer 2015. This way, we can to continue testing using a larger group of libraries. For you, there will be no cost except the ebooks you purchase during this time.

Amigos member libraries must meet the following requirements in order to take part in the early release:

  • Use either barcode authentication or IP range authentication, e.g., EZProxy.
  • Create a collection just for your library. No shared collections will be available at this time.
  • Purchase ebooks from our current list of publishers.
  • Create a deposit account with Amigos to pay for purchased ebooks.
  • Provide these ebooks via download to your patrons.
  • Continue to help us test through the spring and summer. The service will have been tested by both Amigos staff and our pilot libraries beforehand, but your help will allow us to test with more libraries and varying environments.

We hope that many of you will take us up on this early release offer. It will not obligate you to continue with the service. Any ebooks you purchase are yours, and we will provide them to you to load onto another ebook platform.

As an added incentive, we are giving away an Amigos eShelf service microfiber cloth to every member that signs up for the Early Release Program.

To take part in our early release, complete and submit this form and we will contact you. If you have questions, contact me at 800-843-8482, ext. 2891, or peterson@amigos.org.