ReadersFirst guide to library e-book vendors

ReadersFirst has released their guide to library e-book vendors. The report ranks seven major library e-book vendors against the ReadersFirst principles, and outlines best practice for the distribution of e-books.

To develop the report, ReadersFirst developed an evaluation form to be completed by vendors, which included questions about whether systems could store and index metadata, allow clients to place holds on items, send delivery notifications, provide detailed account information, and so on.

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Massachusetts eBook Pilot Project

The Massachusetts Library System has launched a six-month pilot project to explore different models of e-book lending, different platforms and user experiences.

The project will see 3,000 titles being made available through Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 service, and 30,000 (largely historical) titles made available through the BiblioBoard platform, developed by BiblioLabs. These titles will be available through a single discovery interface developed for the project. 51 libraries in Massachusetts are participating in the pilot.

Project launch press release
Project scope and timeline

Canadian eBook lending RFP ends without pilot

The Request for Proposals to develop a made-in-Canada e-book lending solution for Canadian public libraries, called by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and eBOUND, has ended without progressing to a pilot.

A statement released by CULC said that the Working Group found that developing a solution was not going to be sustainable under current conditions. In particular, major issues included the terms of sale for content to be used for the pilot, and the cost of developing the system.

The Working Group will review how to further their goals through alternative means. CULC and the Association of Canadian Publishers will continue to collaborate in finding ways to improve the access, promotion and discoverability of Canadian content.

eVoke 2.0: Colorado Statewide eBook Pilot Project

The eVoke 2.0 eBook Project is a LSTA-funded project to roll out the Douglas County model for e-books in public libraries, as used by Douglas County and Marmot libraries etc, to the whole state of Colorado. A significant portion of the work is developing a prototype e-book management system which is scalable to the whole state.

The broad aims of the project are to:

  • Host e-book content for the state of Colorado. Initially, the content in the system is expected to be non-Big 5 content (a la the Douglas County model), and additional hosted systems such as OverDrive will still be in place. In the long run, however, it is hoped that Big 5 content will be able to be hosted in the system as wel.
  • Develop an e-content management module, which would enable the purchasing, cataloguing, discovery and circulation of hosted e-books.
  • Develop APIs to allow the e-content management module to talk to external Library Management Systems.
  • Demonstrate the above with 3 major Library Management System environments in use in Colorado – Koha/Liblime as used by AspenCat; Sierra/Vufind as used by the Marmot Library Network, and Sirsi/Dynix Horizon as used by Douglas County.
  • Develop a sustainable model for Colorado libraries going forward, including business, pricing and policy models.

The complete grant application has been made available, which outlines in more detail the goals and plan for the project. The project is being spearheaded by Douglas County libraries in collaboration with CLiC and others, and is initially expected to run until October 2014.

E-boeken in de Bib [Flemish e-books in the library]

In April 2014, Flemish public libraries will start a pilot e-lending project – E-boeken in de Bib – the outcome of the Vlaams eboekplatform project. The initiative is a collaboration between Bibnet and the Flemish Government.

The model for this initiative will feature:

  • A small catalogue (approximately 300 titles) of Flemish language books, which will gradually be increased as more publishers sign on. (You can explore the titles available in more detail via Pinterest.)
  • The possibility of simultaneous lending
  • Unlimited access and online reading of e-books within library premises
  • iOS and Android apps for loaning and reading e-books outside of library premises. The apps will manage the loan and removal of the titles
  • Users will be charged 5 Euros to borrow 3 titles (called the 345 model)

The financial model relates to how many clients a library has, and how many 3-loan subscriptions are used. It seems that, if libraries see enough use, then some of the 5 Euro fee will start coming back to them as income.

Flemish libraries have until the 15th of December to sign up to the initiative. So far, 178 towns and municipalities have signed up to the system.

With thanks to InfoDocket, Flanders News.be and Rijkswatch.

IDATE study of commercial availability of digital books to French public libraries

The French Ministry of Culture and Communication commissioned a report from consulting company IDATE on e-book lending in French public libraries, to promote discussions about e-lending in French libraries, and review possible future directions and trends. The report is the result of a literature review and interviews with nearly forty experts from a number of targeted countries, conducted between June 2012 and February 2013. An English-language summary of the report is available, but the full report is available in French only.

The report surveys the current e-lending situation in Sweden, the UK, Germany, Spain, North America and the Netherlands, and compares these with the current situation in France. If found that:

  • E-book lending is comparatively rare in French public libraries, although the proportion of e-book titles available to French libraries is greater than in some other countries, and e-lending is much more established in Anglo-Saxon countries
  • No single model for e-lending exists, and models are still being developed
  • The relationship between e-books, publishers, and aggregators is critical to how e-lending can be implemented

IDATE also makes a number of recommendations for establishing a balanced e-lending framework, including:

  • Finding a middle ground for the use of DRM
  • The publishing sector should provide a “coherent offer” of e-books, which should include recent titles
  • Economic models should not be standardised while the market is still in development
  • Consortia licensing should be allowed
  • Statistical data should be shared between publishers and libraries

LIANZA E-book Issues Paper

The LIANZA Standing Committee on Digital Content and e-Lending produced their E-book Issues Paper in October 2013. The paper gives an overview of the current e-book situation in New Zealand libraries (including some information on tertiary, school and special libraries, as well as public libraries), the broader strategic work being undertaken in New Zealand around libraries and e-books, and international advocacy work, initiatives and research.

The paper also includes information on the e-book platforms being used by public libraries in New Zealand, 2012 data on e-books in academic libraries, and results from a 2013 survey on e-books in libraries in New Zealand Crown Research Institutes.