May 27, 2022

Canada: University Libraries in Nova Scotia Test eBook Sharing

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.”

Much More in the Complete Story

Hat Tip: Quill and Quire

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.