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.
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.
Catching up with the twitter search on #ebooks and #libraries today finds ebooks and libraries very much in the spotlight outside the library world with these stories from commercial news pages:
Libraries are places that cultivate a love of reading. The people who borrow books from libraries are more likely to later buy books on their own. The same principle should apply to e-books, particularly if people borrow e-books from libraries to become more comfortable with the new format before making purchasing decisions
and calls for libraries and publishers to work together :
I am optimistic publishers and libraries will be able to make the necessary adjustments, just as they have in response to other challenges they have faced together through the years. However, to make the transition as smooth as possible, the time to start planning for those adjustments is now.
draws us into the topsy-turvy world of the written word, illuminating the turbulent, exciting journey from the book through the digital revolution. Writers, publishers, readers all in flux. Booksellers closing shop. Librarians and teachers seeking new roles. (IMDB summary)
Pointing a finger at the parents and teachers who have the power to affect the habits of the next generation, Roumani warns not of a dystopian future without books, but of one without readers. And although it’s never dwelled upon for more than a few moments, it is “Out of Print’s” most profound proclamation. (Jeva Lange, NY Daily News Books Blog “Page Views”)
Finally a couple of short posts from the Library blogsphere:
As is often the case, it’s worth taking a look at the comments section following many of these articles and posts…
ars technica reports that Tor Books, a leading publisher of Science Fiction ebooks, says that after selling DRM free books for a year there has been no discernible impact on its business –
This week, Julie Crisp, editorial director at Tor UK, wrote that the publisher has seen “no discernible increase in piracy on any of our titles, despite them being DRM-free for nearly a year.”
Tor’s 2012 decision was largely applauded by its customers, who enjoyed being able to share e-book files among various devices.
On the third of May (2013) North American library advocacy group the Urban Libraries Council held a 30 minute ebooks issues briefing webinar.
The podcast of the webinar, the full Briefing Paper – Libraries, Publishers and Public Access to E-Books and the two page summary Libraries, Publishers and Public Access to E-Books – Communities Need Access to E-Books are available from the e-books page on their website.
The ebooks briefing paper gives an overview of the current situation for ebooks in libraries and delivers 5 key messages:
- Equal access to materials – including e-books – is fundamental to public libraries’ mission and critical to ensuring that all citizens have access to the information they need
- Publishers’ policies are preventing the public from accessing e-books
- Borrowing e-books from libraries is increasingly popular
- Some book publishers are denying libraries access to e-books, while others significantly overprice titles
- Pilot programs are encouraging, but need to be more widely implemented