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.
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.
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.
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.