According to the Library Journal, OverDrive has submitted a contract renewal proposal to the state librarian of Kansas that increases administrative fees by nearly 700% in 2014. The librarian has rejected the proposal. Here’s a snippet from the article.
The state librarian of Kansas is playing country hardball with ebook vendor OverDrive, rejecting contract renewal proposals that, in one case, would have increased administrative fees nearly 700 percent by 2014.
The stalled negotiations have also raised concerns among Kansas librarians because they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars licensing content from OverDrive since the contract went into effect in 2006, and they fear they will lose access to all that content if an agreement is not reached. The current contract (though not the newer proposals) appears to oblige OverDrive to transfer content to another service provider if the contract is terminated, but it is unclear what that would entail.
OverDrive spokesperson Dan Stasiewski told LJ that the increase in fees under the first proposal was necessitated by the ten-fold increase in circulation that Kansas’s digital collection has had since 2006, even as fees have remained flat.
“This utilizes additional hosting, bandwidth, network and support services,” he said, which OverDrive has been absorbing the cost of. “In the end that seven times increase [detailed below] is coming down to around $200 a library in 2014,” he said.
The Kansas State Library’s contract with OverDrive expires this December. In September 2010, the library’s director, Jo Budler, received an initial renewal proposal from OverDrive that would have raised the annual administrative fee from its current $10,800 to $25,000 in 2012, $50,000 in 2013, and $75,000 in 2014 and 2015, a 694 percent increase in just three years.
“My own budget has been cut 26 percent and to expect that kind of increase is unreasonable. This is unsustainable pricing,” Budler told LJ, saying she refused to accept the proposal, which she called “astronomical.”