May 29, 2022

UK: CILIP: Libraries Should Lend Ebooks for Free 24/7 Professional Body Tells Government

From a CILIP News Release:

In its submission to a government review the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals has stressed the importance of free ebook lending from public libraries. Access to knowledge should not rely on the ability to pay. Charging for ebook lending is a threat to the principal of a free public library service, as ebooks are likely to become the most popular reading format in the years ahead.


“While over two thirds of public library services in England offer ebook lending,” said CILIP President Phil Bradley, “the range of titles is often limited. Several of the largest trade publishers are reluctant to allow libraries to lend their titles as ebooks. There are commonly held misunderstandings about how libraries work and the benefits the elending could bring. We are calling for different elending models to be piloted so the impact of options can be better understood and decisions made on a robust evidence base.”


The key recommendations of CILIP’s submission are:

  • Elending should be provided free of charge with access to knowledge not  dependent on the ability to pay
  • All elending models should allow for remote downloading of ebooks in addition to on-site access
  • DCMS/Arts Council funding should be made available to research the impact of elending pilots
  • A national training programme focusing on accessing econtent should be developed and offered to public library employees across the UK

Read the Full Text of the Submission (Also Embedded Below)

Elending Review – CILIP Response

eBooks and Public Libraries – Brief Overview (September 2012)

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.