May 18, 2022

eBooks: 3M Announces Support for ReadersFirst Initiative and Launches Open API For ILS Vendors

From a 3M Announcement:

Libraries participating in ReadersFirst asked e-content providers to offer products that allow users to search and browse both the physical and digital collections of a library within a single, comprehensive catalog. Additionally, the initiative is seeking solutions that allow users to place holds, check-out items, view availability, manage fines and receive communications without having to visit separate websites.

The 3M Cloud Library eBook Lending Service aligns with the goals of the ReadersFirst movement and was designed specifically with this flexibility in mind. The 3M Cloud Library’s new Application Programming Interface (API) suite provides the foundation for the interconnectivity that libraries are seeking. The 3M API has the ability to integrate with any ILS, allowing patrons at participating libraries to browse both physical and digital collections within just one catalog.

About 250 Polaris customers saw the power of the 3M API recently at the Polaris Users Group annual conference in Syracuse, N.Y. Polaris was the first ILS to develop an integrated solution using the API, and the seamless integration between 3M and the Polaris catalog has been extremely well received.

“The response was awesome,” said Steven Nielsen, vice president of product management for Polaris Library Services. “When librarians saw how tightly we’ve integrated 3M eBooks with the Polaris systems they were very excited. Two companies have listened to their customers and worked together to provide an eBook solution that benefits librarians, their patrons and the local library.”

“We are excited to launch this open API to ILS vendors, OPAC [online public access catalog] vendors, and our customer base,” said Matt Tempelis, global business manager, 3M Cloud Library. “As the ReadersFirst movement has shown, this is the kind of flexibility that libraries need to evolve into the future.”

3M also continues to advocate for library transferability of digital content. As a digital distributor of content, 3M has designed its Cloud Library system to support the philosophy that libraries should have the option to transfer content after content license purchases. Additionally, if a customer wishes to terminate their relationship with 3M and move to a new platform provider, 3M will cooperate with the library to transfer its eBook licensed content to a new platform, in those instances publishers approve such a transfer.

With the most robust content collection of any library eBook platform, the 3M Cloud Library is continuing to grow. 3M’s expanding collection currently includes content from several of the “Big Six” publishers, including Random House and Harper Collins. The total collection stands at more than 200,000 titles from some 300 publishers. Libraries are taking notice, and the system has been implemented in more than 70 library systems since its launch early this year.

“While 3M’s breadth and quality of content is truly impressive, we look forward to begin expanding our collection with key foreign language publishers here in Frankfurt,” said Heather McCormack, collection development manager for the 3M Cloud Library. McCormack, formerly editor of Library Journal’s book review, recently joined 3M to pioneer Readers Advisory Services in eBook lending and to further expand the platform’s collection.

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.