May 17, 2022

Canadian Public Libraries Looking For Viable "Canadian Alternative" to OverDrive

From Quill and Quire:

In the past year, library groups such as CULC [Canadian Urban Libraries Council] have met several times with the Association of Canadian Publishers and the Canadian Publishers’ Council, expressing the urgency of finding “easier ways for our patrons to discover and borrow books, and [have] access to more content,” says de Castell

Libraries are also using these meetings to share their expertise on licensing models used by other digital-content providers. “Journals, newspapers, and magazines have been online in libraries for more than 10 years, so we’ve had a fair amount of experience dealing with buying electronic content,” says de Castell. “Scholarly publishers and academic publishers … have been selling electronic content in ebook format for many years. They’re very experienced and comfortable with [a licensing] model, but it is very new for many of the trade publishers.”

Finding effective purchasing models has become a top priority for both camps. Currently, OverDrive works on a model similar to print in which copies of ebooks are circulated to one user at a time for three weeks, without the option of renewing. Users can place holds on ebooks, with the number of holds often dictating the number of ebooks purchased of a particular title. It’s not a popular model with libraries, which are now struggling with huge holds lists and a lack of varied trade e-content.

In addition to content and purchasing models, Canadian public libraries are looking to publishers for a “Canadian solution” to ebook warehousing and distribution as a viable alternative to OverDrive, de Castell says.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: CLUC White Paper: White Paper on eBooks in Canadian Public Libraries: Expanding the eBook Market 2011

See Also: Additional CULC eBook Materials (Including List of Organizations They’ve Been Meeting With)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.