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.