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.
Canada’s public libraries (represented by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council) and Canada’s English-language publishing community (represented by eBound Canada) are planning to develop a made-in-Canada solution that will provide eBook lending capabilities to all Canadian public libraries from Canadian publishers, with the opportunity for international publishers to join in. The solution will also potentially facilitate sales of both eBook and print materials from the same publishers to library patrons. The solution should allow all patron transactions to take place in a library’s existing discovery interface.
The initial request for information was released in June 2012.
Following this, the request for proposals was released in February 2013, and will close on March 11, 2013. It is intended that this will lead to a year-long pilot of a solution, with Hamilton Public Library, Ottawa Public Library, Toronto Public Library and Vancouver Public Library participating as pilot sites. The RFP includes detailed technical and functional requirements for the solution.
The Canadian Urban Libraries Council has undertaken a range of work relating to ebooks in public libraries, including:
- Meeting and consulting with a range of publishers, authors groups, libraries and vendors
- presenting a number of public industry events
- developing positions statements and white papers on ebooks and public libraries
- Planning to develop a platform to enable greater accessibility and use of ebooks in Canadian public libraries
Expanding eBooks: Purchasing and lending at Canadian public libraries – by Christina de Castell, Vancouver Public Library, for the eContent Task Force, Canadian Urban Libraries Council. August 2011
The paper provides background to the conversation between publishers and libraries, explaining the current issues with providing eBooks in Canadian libraries and identifying areas where libraries’ experience with electronic resources can assist in developing new models. The paper addresses pricing and licensing models have used for electronic products in the past, the current state of providing ebooks in Canadian libraries, and the size of the public library market based on the spending of members of CULC/CBUC.
Canadian Urban Libraries Council’s Vision statement for public library access to downloadable and portable e-content.
Aspirational statement of requirements, covering acquisition and supply models, collection availability and management, delivery platforms, circulation, access, and device and use issues.
Canadian Urban Library Council’s Statement on eBook pricing models.
Statement from CULC/CBUC advocating a continued dialogue with publishers, distributors and producers of e-content to find licensing and pricing models that work for all parties.