Digital Arizona Library

The Arizona State Library is exploring options for a statewide ebook service – Digital Arizona Library. This would be led by the State Library in partnership with Arizona public libraries.

The initiative is still at the planning stage (at time of writing). The Consultants’ report and recommendations to the Planning Committee – DAZL: Arizona Statewide E-book Program – were produced in December 2012, and the DAZL Working Group’s report was finalised in February 2013.

DAZL report – ebook project environmental scan

DAZL Report: Arizona State Libraries – by Carson Block Consulting Inc, August-September 2012

As part of planning a statewide ebook service (Digital Arizona Library), Arizona State Library commissioned Carson Block Consulting Inc to produce this technological environmental scan, based around the model for ebook collection and e-lending developed by Douglas County Libraries in Colorado.

The paper includes discussion and analysis of the Douglas County model as it works for Douglas County Libraries, Marmot Library Network, and the Califa Consortium. This includes detail about:

  • key technological elements of the Douglas County model
  • technological resources supporting the Douglas County model
  • which technological elements are mission critical or optional
  • which public libraries and entities are known to be following the Douglas County model
  • strategies, successes and challenges experienced by those using the model
  • estimated costs incurred by some libraries implementing the model

Public library ebook lending initiative – Canada

Canada’s public libraries (represented by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council) and Canada’s English-language publishing community (represented by eBound Canada) are planning to develop a made-in-Canada solution that will provide eBook lending capabilities to all Canadian public libraries from Canadian publishers, with the opportunity for international publishers to join in. The solution will also potentially facilitate sales of both eBook and print materials from the same publishers to library patrons. The solution should allow all patron transactions to take place in a library’s existing discovery interface.

The initial request for information was released in June 2012.

Following this, the request for proposals was released in February 2013, and will close on March 11, 2013. It is intended that this will lead to a year-long pilot of a solution, with Hamilton Public Library, Ottawa Public Library, Toronto Public Library and Vancouver Public Library participating as pilot sites. The RFP includes detailed technical and functional requirements for the solution.


ReadersFirst describes itself as a ‘movement to improve e-book access and services for public library users’. Its efforts are focused on e-content distributors, rather than publishers.

ReadersFirst expresses four principles of discovery, functionality, access and technical compatibility as a standard which e-content distributors will be held to. A very significant number of libraries and library systems (over 225 as of early February 2013), largely in America but also internationally, are signatories to the ReadersFirst principles.

Representatives from ReadersFirst met with a number of library vendors on January 28, to discuss how the technology and business model for electronic lending should develop.

Ebooks and elending issues paper – ALIA

The Australian Library and Information Association produced their Ebooks and elending issues paper to be a foundation for discussion about ebooks to be held at the ALIA Information Online conference in February 2013, and a library summit in March 2013.

The paper summarises the current ebooks and elending environment in Australia, and outlines the issues facing Australian libraries. This includes discussing how libraries support the book industry, the current situation in ebook supply in Australia, including the difference between academic and trade publishing, and four themes of current issues:

  • Content – including refusal to supply, and collection development issues
  • Procurement – including issues around flexible or inflexible business models, ownership, consortia and fair dealing
  • Operations – including integrating ebooks into the larger library systems, interoperability, reporting and analytics, and lending rights schemes
  • Lending and access – including barriers to access, DRM, inter-library lending and open access

The paper may undergo more iterations leading up to having a final version to share with government, industry and policy makers by April 2013.

IFLA Principles for Library eLending

The IFLA Governing Board endorsed the IFLA Principles for Library eLending policy document in February 2013.

These are five broad principles about the availability and use of ebooks in libraries:

  1. Commercially available ebooks should be available for libraries to license and/or purchase under a variety of terms and conditions
  2. eBook licensing and purchasing options should respect both copyright limitations and exceptions, and libraries should be able to bypass technological protection measures for non-infringing purposes
  3. ebooks available through libraries should be usable on all commonly used e-reader devices
  4. Libraries and library users must be able to control the use of users’ personal information
  5. In jurisdictions where government support is provided to publishers, societal access to published works through libraries (e.g. by requiring publishers to make their works available for libraries to license/purchase under reasonable terms and conditions) may also be mandated by government

Fuller versions of the policy document, including IFLA’s policy history around licensing electronic content, are available in PDF and Word.

Libraries, e-lending and the future of public access to digital content

Thinkpiece on Libraries, e-lending and the future of public access to digital content – Civic Agenda for IFLA [Oct-Nov 2012]
and Matrix: Models of accessing digital content

IFLA commissioned this report prior to an expert meeting on e-lending, held in the Hague in November 2012. The thinkpiece was the starting point for discussions on desirable characteristics for public access models for library digital content, library user expectations’ regarding eBooks, and the relationship between libraries and publishers in the eBook age. It gives a good overview of the current issues and the e-book and e-lending ecosystem.

The Matrix summarises some of the discussion in the report around various ‘desirable characteristics for public access models for library digital content’ and how various publishers, aggregators, distributors and other initiatives measure up against these characteristics.

The reports have also been loaded to Scribd, via Library Journal’s infoDOCKET:
Thinkpiece on Libraries, e-lending and the future of public access to digital content
Matrix: Models of accessing digital content