No word on what on what today’s EBL/ProQuest news means in the long term for this ebook sharing test. If/when we learn more we will update.
A group of Nova Scotia university libraries is testing a new approach to ebook lending that offers unprecedented levels of access to students and faculty.
Novanet – a consortium of 10 academic libraries founded in 1988 – has negotiated a new deal with publishers to allow the sharing of electronic books among libraries as freely as the sharing of print books.
In a pilot project that began in November, the member libraries deposited a total of $100,000 to access a shared collection of about 16,000 ebooks through vendor EBL. Patrons of any of the 10 libraries can instantly access these books through the Novanet system.
The agreement represents something of a breakthrough for academic libraries in North America, says Novanet manager Bill Slauenwhite.
“Publishers, especially academic publishers … they’re not happy about losing any of their market share. So this was a hard slog and a hard negotiation.”
According to EBL vice-president of sales and marketing David Swords, Novanet is the first of EBL’s global clients to use this model.
The agreement with EBL currently applies to only 28 publishers and a limited selection of recently published titles. But Slauenwhite hopes the experiment will convince more publishers that the model is “a good thing.”
Hat Tip: Quill and Quire