ReadersFirst guide to library e-book vendors

ReadersFirst has released their guide to library e-book vendors. The report ranks seven major library e-book vendors against the ReadersFirst principles, and outlines best practice for the distribution of e-books.

To develop the report, ReadersFirst developed an evaluation form to be completed by vendors, which included questions about whether systems could store and index metadata, allow clients to place holds on items, send delivery notifications, provide detailed account information, and so on.


ReadersFirst describes itself as a ‘movement to improve e-book access and services for public library users’. Its efforts are focused on e-content distributors, rather than publishers.

ReadersFirst expresses four principles of discovery, functionality, access and technical compatibility as a standard which e-content distributors will be held to. A very significant number of libraries and library systems (over 225 as of early February 2013), largely in America but also internationally, are signatories to the ReadersFirst principles.

Representatives from ReadersFirst met with a number of library vendors on January 28, to discuss how the technology and business model for electronic lending should develop.