May 18, 2022

Canadian Library and Publisher Groups Release RFI Seeking Partners to Develop Canadian-Made Solution To Improve eBook Access in Libraries

This RFI (request for information) was first posted on June 5th by eBOUND Canada and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council.

From the CULC:

“CULC/CBUC has been involved in a constructive collaboration for over 18 months with members of the broad Canadian publishing community, and we feel that the time is right to seek a Canadian-made solution that can offer an innovative win-win-win-win for publishers-authors-library users and Canadian public libraries.” says CULC/CBUC Executive Director Jefferson Gilbert.

The purpose of the RFI is to identify potential partners who would be interested in providing a Canadian-controlled infrastructure for the storage and distribution of digital content as well as for the management of lending agreements and transactions between public libraries, publishers and library patrons.

Information gathered at this point will be used to identify suppliers for follow-up engagement in a future Request For Proposals (RFP) process leading to a pilot project and, later, to full implementation across Canada.

“We are seeking expressions of interest from vendors who feel their organizations possess existing technology, or who feel their organizations can quickly provide technology, to help build this infrastructure.” said Susan Renouf, Chair of eBOUND Canada.

Here’s a Copy of the RFI Document (via CULC; 12 pages; PDF)

From the Introduction:

Canada’s English-­‐language publishing community (represented by eBOUND Canada) and Canada’s public libraries (represented by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council -­‐ CULC) are working together for the creation of a made-­‐in-­‐Canada solution that, potentially, 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 facilitate sales of both eBook and print materials from the same publishers to library patrons, with the appearance of patron transactions taking place in the library discovery layer (catalogue).
We will know we are successful when:

+ Canadian-­‐owned and Canadian-­‐controlled publishers can sell or lease their digital content directly and indirectly to public libraries, and
+ When Canadian libraries can purchase eBooks and digital content from multiple vendors of their choosing, and
+ When public library discovery layers seamlessly permit patrons to borrow and download content, without the appearance of leaving the library’s site or using third party vendors, and
+ When digital content and print material are capable of being sold to members of the public through public library discovery layers, with local or preferred booksellers becoming an option for fulfillment where available, and
+ When all publishers have the capacity to market their digital content to public libraries, and
+ When libraries have the ability to merchandise that content through their discovery layers.

See Also: Seeking a Made-in-Canada Solution to Library Ebook Lending (via Booknet Canada)

See Also: The RFI is Mentioned in The Digital Shift Story: Top Libraries in U.S. and Canada Issue Statement Demanding Better Ebook Services

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.