Our library subscribes to LexisNexis Digital Library which uses the OverDrive platform for content.
The best thing about this product is that it allows us to select individual titles that we think our students, faculty, alumni, or guests will actually use! We don’t have to buy a huge, expensive package full of titles that we do not want or that will not be used just to get the titles that we do want.
Because we have a health law focus, we’ve chosen a handful of American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) titles for our faculty who do research in health compliance areas. For our students, we have selected Carolina Academic Press textbook and study aid titles that we formerly purchased in print for our Course Reserve collection. For our alums and guest attorneys, we have added LexisNexis New Jersey practice content. And, for all our users who are interested in social justice and other interdisciplinary and non-legal content, we have purchased various monograph titles from the OverDrive Advantage marketplace.
Like every program, there are pros and opportunities for improvement.
For our library, here are some pros:
- We can select textbook and study aid titles of strong interest to our students.
- We can access the Advantage program which allows us to purchase non-legal and interdisciplinary content that OverDrive sells.
- We can purchase audiobooks from OverDrive, and this allows us to offer a solution to auditory learners and those who take advantage of learning while commuting or exercising.
- OverDrive offers various lending models: one user, simultaneous user, metered access, etc.
- Borrowing the ebooks and audiobooks is easy.
- Highlighting, bookmarking, and annotating books is easy and intuitive.
- Running usage reports is easy.
- We can switch content if usage is low.
- OverDrive and LexisNexis reps are quick to respond and answer questions.
- There is now a link to the platform via the product switcher in Lexis+ which will allow faculty and students to quickly access content in LexisNexis Digital Library.
- Most titles are available in OverDrive knowledge base collections for discovery in library catalogs (although, LexisNexis provides a custom title ID to replace the OverDrive title ID).
I’ve identified some potential opportunities…
- The program is a little different from other programs because while you can select the titles you want in the plan, you also pay for each title individually regardless of bibliographic format. For the serial and integrating resource content, it seems normal to pay each year since the content is updated; it’s a normal renewal. For monographs that do not get updated, you must also renew each year, but you don’t get an extra copy like you would if you paid for a print monograph or ebook (from ebook vendors such as Ebsco or ProQuest) a second time.
But, going back to a pro listed above, you can switch out content if a title is not being used. So, if our users are not using Understanding and Mastering the Bluebook, we can switch it out for a title that we think might be used more. Monitoring use of individual titles is insightful and challenges the traditional thinking that a certain title is “used all the time.” Monitoring usage allows for more selective collection development. For us, at this time, it is still worth it to renew monograph titles each year given the convenience of access.
- The content is not in pdf. However, the Bluebook (Rules 15.9, 16.8, etc.) provides guidance for citing ebooks and content that is not in pdf.
- While borrowing ebooks is very easy, returning borrowed ebooks is less intuitive. We’ve drafted user instructions to assist.
In looking at the list of pros and potential opportunities, it is clear to see that there are more pros. During this pandemic, access to digital content is most important to our users so we’re happy that LexisNexis allows us to include individual textbook, study aid, and OverDrive Advantage titles in the package.