The Connecticut State Library’s Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development’s (ACLPD) eBook Task Force recently held an ebook symposium. The event follows the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections report examining the availability of electronic books to public library users.
Keynoter Alan Inouye, director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, provided an update on eBook issues from a national perspective. With thanks to Infodocket who have made the slides available via slideshare.
As previously discussed by this blog, The Greater Western Library Alliance and publisher Springer have partnered to create the Occam’s Reader project. The pilot program will begin in March and allows the corsortium of 33 academic libraries to share e-books via interlibrary loan.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article outlining how the project will run. The software allows the lending library to upload the e-book onto a web server. The patron requesting the e-book at another library recieves an email with a username, pasword and link to a log-in page. The user can then sign in and read the requested book. Borrowed e-books can be read but not copied, printed out or downloaded and are automatically deleted from the server at the end of the designated interlibrary loan period.
Over 5,000 HarperCollins e-book titles are now available on OverDrive for UK customers, including school, public and university libraries. Borrowing terms are the same as for U.S titles: each copy purchased may be borrowed 26 times before its license expires and a new copy must be purchased. The Overdrive blog post is available here.
The Occam’s Reader Project (a collaboration between Texas Tech University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) ) and publisher Springer have entered into an agreement to run a one year pilot program allowing e-book interlibrary loans (ILLS). Although ILLS have always been possible under the terms of Springer e-book licenses, there was no process for doing so. The new software creates a process for requesting, processing and delivering e-books.
This is the first major collaboration of its kind between academic libraries and a major publisher and has the potential to revolutionize how e-books are shared by libraries.
Public Libraries in the Netherlands have launched a large scale e-book lending service which allows more than one person to read the same e-book at the same time. In most countries, lending is based on the ‘one copy, one use’ model meaning a book is unavailable if it has already been ‘lent’.
Under the new lending model Public Libraries in the Netherlands pay a fee for each e-book lent. 5000 e-books will be available initally, which is approximately one quarter of the total number of e-books available in the Netherlands.
Titles have been placed in two categories: up to three years old, and older. Initially e-books in both categories will be freely available for library members to read. From April 2014, library members who wish to borrow more recent titles can opt in for an e-booksplus package, which allows them to read 18 e-books for €20.
The complete press release is available here.
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
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.