Tender for Library Authorities to join UK e-lending pilots

The Society of Chief Librarians and the Publisher’s Association have released an invitation to tender titled Testing the impact of e-lending both on-site and remotely upon the Public Library and Publishing sectors.

One of the recommendations of the Sieghart review of library e-lending in the UK was that a series of pilots be constructed to test remote e-lending, based on one user-one copy, and that copy would deteriorate after an agreed number of loans. The pilots are intended to provide publishers, authors, agents and libraries with an evidence base to assess what happens to lending and purchasing behaviour in those areas.

The SCL and PA appointed research and strategy consultancy MTM London to design the pilot projects in August 2013.

The current tender calls for Library Authorities to participate in the pilots. Four authorities will participate, one each that:

  • represents a largely rural population and will loan e-books for 7 days
  • represents a largely rural population and will loan e-books for 21 days
  • represents a largely metropolitan population and will loan e-books for 7 days
  • represents a largely metropolitan population and will loan e-books for 21 days

Each participating authority will be required to purchase a pre-agreed set of approximately 1,000 titles, made up of front- and back-list titles from major publishers, prominent UK authors and new titles as they are published.

As well as meeting the standard requirements from publishers and platform providers, the participating authorities will be required to include a ‘click to buy’ button for all titles included in the project.

Participating authorities will be required to report on the changes in physical and e-lending habits of clients during the pilot. The pilots are intended to run for 12 months to December 2014.

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