More digital titles are coming to Cedar Park Public Library

Cedar Park City Council approved contracts with three vendors that will provide additional digital content to Cedar Park Public Library card holders.

Cedar Park City Council approved contracts with three vendors that will provide additional digital content to Cedar Park Public Library card holders.

Cedar Park Public Library users will soon have access to more digital titles.

The city is moving forward with agreements with three eContent vendors, which store and enable access to library materials such as books and audiobooks in digital formats. The vendors will allow the library to add access to an additional 107,000 unique digital titles over five years, according to city documents.

Cedar Park City Council voted 4-1 to authorize agreements with the three vendors—Bibliotheca, Midwest Tape and OverDrive—during a July 25 meeting. Council Member Rodney T. Robinson was opposed, and Council Member Dorian Chavez was absent from the vote.

The agreements are for one year, with options to renew each year for the following four years. Each agreement costs about $40,000 per year, according to Cedar Park Public Library Director Julia Mitschke.

The purchase comes as the library has seen an increased demand for digital library materials, which the library began offering in 2011. Over the last five years, the library has seen a 600% increase in eContent usage by library card holders, according to city documents.

“It’s been a highly needed resource,” Mitschke said.

The city will also be executing an interlocal agreement with several public libraries throughout Texas to enable mutual access to the libraries’ digital resources. Bibliotheca offers a cloudLink program, through which libraries share access to their purchased digital materials. Participating cities and towns include Allen, Boerne, Burleson, Lewisville, Laredo, New Braunfels, Flower Mound, Waco and more.

Entering this agreement will increase the number of digital resources library users in Cedar Park can access at no additional cost to the city, according to city documents.

“[Each library] purchases content that is primarily first and foremost available to their citizens, their library users,” Mitschke said. “But if nobody is using [a title], it shows up into this group pool. So if it’s in high demand, your community gets preference, but if it’s not being used at the moment and would be useful to someone in another community, it’s available to them.”

Council Member Mel Kirkland said he thinks adding additional digital titles to the library is a great way to add content without putting strains on the library’s physical capacity.

“There are times when you have to call books that are less used out to make room for new material because you’re just over capacity on physical material at the library,” Kirkland said. “I think this is a great way to add content without [creating] the need for space at this time.”

Robinson, who voted against approving the contracts, said he is not against adding more digital content but has concerns about library spending. He cited a National Citizen Survey recently completed on the city of Cedar Park that found 37% or respondents believe the city should spend more on library and cultural arts.

“If the [survey] says they don’t want to increase the spending, even though it’s allowable, just because you have the money doesn’t mean you necessarily need to spend the money, versus reallocating the money in areas that maybe there is not as great of demand,” Robinson said. “I’m all about trying to save the city money if I can.”

Mitschke said there is plenty of funding in the library’s budget to cover the agreements, and there would not be an increase to funding needed in order to approve them.
By Marisa Charpentier

Reporter, Cedar Park | Leander

Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.


Renderings show plans for a transit station as part of Capital Metro's Project Connect. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
Changes to Project Connect plan add $60 million to local cost estimate

Capital Metro Board Chair Wade Cooper called the upcoming June 10 meeting to finalize the technical aspects of the plan "one of the most consequential votes this board has taken in its history."

Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community have sewn more than 100 masks for essential workers and have donated them to The Mask Brigade of Williamson County. (Courtesy Mubaraka Malbari)
Austin Islamic community Dawoodi Bohra provides financial assistance, face masks during pandemic

The Dawoodi Bohra community of Austin has worked to provide financial assistance and offered support to first responders and essential personnel during the health crisis.

LIST: What is open, closed in Texas and how businesses can operate

Texas openings are staggered with different opening dates and operating limits.

New Braunfels is the third-fastest-growing city in the U.S. from 2010-19, according to the latest census numbers. (Community Impact staff)
These 5 Central Texas cities are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

Four of the five cities represent notable growth in Williamson County.

Three Leander businesses were awarded a total of $10,000 in city business grants May 21. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leander awards $10,000 of COVID-19 business grants May 21

Three Leander businesses were awarded a total of $10,000 in city business grants May 21.

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers are to be tested for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas to test all state hospitals, supported living centers for COVID-19

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers will be tested for coronavirus regardless of symptoms or exposure.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Longer school days, less traffic: Leander ISD approves new bell schedule

The Leander ISD board of trustees approved a new bell schedule for the 2020-21 school year at its May 21 meeting.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is encouraging testing for residents. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
MAY 23 ROUNDUP: Top stories from this week in Central Texas

Read the most popular stories from the past week of Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of Central Texas.

With social distancing measures still in place, celebrate Memorial Day weekend from the comfort of your home with these takeout family packs. (Courtesy Hopdoddy Burger Bar)
MAY 25 ROUNDUP: Business updates from Central Texas

Read Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of Central Texas business news here.

The Williamson County small-business grant program has issued over $15 million as of May 21. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County small-business grant program issues over $15 million

More than 1,200 checks have been mailed so far.