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Texas Public Libraries and Reporting Download Services

2018 February 14
by Valicia Greenwood

The Texas Public Libraries Annual Report must be submitted between now and April 30, 2018.  This is the next in a series of blogs which will provide explanations for some of the questions that we receive.

Hoopla? Freegal?  OverDrive? DVD’s?  What is meant by “electronic” or “digital” materials?  There are so many categories and lengthy definitions! How does one make sense of it all?

Materials in “digital format,” also called downloadables, refer to the use of any materials that are distributed digitally and can be accessed by computer, the Internet, or a portable device such as a smartphone or an eBook reader.  DVD’s and CD’s do not belong in this category: those are in “physical format” rather than “electronic format,” and will be addressed below.

How a downloadable item – or unit – is reported depends on how it was acquired by the library and how it is available to the patron.  The tip sheet on, How to Report Download Services tells how to report units from many of the most popular streaming and downloadable services.

Units are classified by the type of the download:

  • audio (music or audiobook) – 6.5;
  • video – 6.7; or
  • eBook – 6.9.

Circulation is divided into:

  • Children’s circulation in digital format – 7.5
  • All other circulation in digital format – 7.7

If the children’s count is not easily obtained, report it in all other digital circulation.  Children’s materials are intended for those age 11 or younger; young adult and adult circulation are reported in 7.7.

In general, a large package of titles over which the library has had no selection or choice is classified as an electronic collection or database.  If purchased by an individual library, it is reported in 6.10; if by members of a consortium, in 6.12.

Patron-Driven Acquisition, or pay-per-use services, are reported as patron downloads in the unit count – 6.5, Audio; 6.8, Video; 6.9, eBook – and in circulation. If you can obtain a verifiable number of downloads, then that is the number for both collection units and for circulation.

Libraries or consortia subscribed to OverDrive, or 3M, report all the titles to which the library patrons have access.  This includes titles selected and/or acquired by the consortium, as well as those titles chosen by the library, and not just the titles that were acquired during the reporting year.  The library’s vendor representative can assist in creating a report which produces this information and includes a breakdown between children’s and adult title circulation.

For libraries which have CD’s and DVD’s available, those continue to be counted, but not as electronic materials.  They are counted as physical materials:

  • CD’s, in 6.3 (audio titles) and 6.4 (number of units); and
  • DVD’s, 6.6 (video titles) and 6.7 (number of units).

Record the circulation in children’s (7.4) or all other (7.6) circulation of physical format materials.

If you are unclear about where to report units from a downloadable service, please contact Library Statistics Specialist Valicia Greenwood ( or Program Coordinator Stacey Malek (, or call toll free inside Texas, 800/252-9386.

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