Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protections e-book availability report

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protections has released a report discussing the availability of electronic books to public library users. The report is divided into three sections and considers (1) whether and how e-books are made available to public libraries, (2) problems with current practices and (3) recommedations to increase the availablity to e-books to library users.

Importantly, the report recommends ‘investing in a State run e-book distribution platform so as to provide the State’s libraries with greater flexibility in acquiring and managing their e-content’ and ‘exploring mechanisms to increase the availability of funds to State libraries to address the added expenses of maintaining an adequate e-book collection’.

With thanks to InfoDocket who have made the full report available via Scribd.

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.

Montgomery County, MD, resolution on e-book pricing

On July 23, 2013, the County Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, adopted their Resolution 17-821: Equitable access to e-books for Montgomery County Public Libraries. The resolution states:

The Council believes that patrons of Montgomery County Public Libraries should have equitable access to e-books at fair prices.

Therefore, the Council urges the General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission to examine this issue and seek any appropriate remedy so that County library users will have the access to materials in a reasonable and non-discriminatory manner.

With thanks to infoDOCKET, who have also made the full text of the resolution and supporting materials available via Scribd.

SCL and the Publishers Association invite tenders on e-lending research project

One of the recommendations of the UK’s Sieghart review into e-lending in public libraries was:

A number of pilots in 2013 using established literary events should be set up to test business models and user behaviours, and provide a transparent evidence base: all major publishers and aggregators should participate in these pilots

In June 2013, the Society of Chief Librarians and the Publishers Association released a Request for Proposal to appoint a research agency to co-design (with SCL and PA) and evaluate a number of research pilots which will test the impact of e-lending.

The key research questions are:

  • What is the reader journey? i.e. how do library users find and access e-books?
  • What is the impact on sales?
  • What is the overall impact on library services?
  • How does an e-lending offer change the customers’ perception of library services?

The deadline for proposals was July 17.

UPDATE: The contract to develop the pilots was awarded to MTM London, a research and strategy consultancy.

Book Industry Collaborative Council’s final report

The Book Industry Collaborative Council’s final report [7.16 MB] has been published on the website of Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Industry and Innovation. Copies of the report are also available from the websites of the Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Booksellers Association. Amongst other things it recommends the establishment of a permanent industry body, the Book Industry Council of Australia.

This report includes the final report of the Lending Rights Expert Reference Group, which was tasked with developing principles of supply of e-books to libraries, and a framework of digital lending rights as an extension of existing lending rights schemes. This is pages 180 – 203 of the report.

The report proposes eight general principles of supply of e-books to libraries, including availability of titles, continuity of access, fair remuneration for authors, fair prices for libraries, and device neutrality.

The report also makes recommendations for next steps, to maintain the momentum of work carried out by the LRERG, including working with industry and government to implement the proposals.

ebook news roundup – Connecticut Legislation, Ohio Advocacy, Apple and pricing, ebook sales

The latest news, courtesy of twitter (#ebooks and #libraries) and and other sources…

Patrick Losinski, CEO of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Kim Fender, Director of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library, recently briefed members of the Ohio Library Council with an overview of the current ebooks in libraries situation focusing on consumer access to titles.”

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit last year against Apple and six e-book publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, and Simon & Schuster. The trial is scheduled to begin June 3 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Apple has denied being part of any conspiracy,…

Approximately one in five books sold were e-books, which collectively accounted for $3 billion, or also about a fifth, of all trade publishing revenue, up 44.2% from 2011

ebook news roundup from the Twittersphere

A twitter search on #ebooks and #libraries has brought up a number of new and interesting posts relating to ebook advocacy:

OverDrive and Sourcebooks are preparing to launch an innovative and ambitious pilot program whose goal is to clearly demonstrate the impact library ebook lending has on book sales and author recognition.

  • A paper by two academic librarians Navigating the e-book maze, which “addresses some of the challenges of library e-book lending and compares major vendor options” has been published in The Charleston Advisor. Thanks again to infoDOCKET for the heads up.