Ebooks: UK Government Commission Releases Review of E-Lending in Public Libraries
The lending of E-books by public libraries will enhance library services for users, but the interests of booksellers and publishers must be protected too, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said today.
A Government-commissioned report, An Independent Review of E-Lending in Public Libraries in England by William Sieghart, published today, sets out the following principles:
- Public libraries should be able to offer a remote E-lending service to their readers, free at the point of use;
- The interests of publishers and booksellers must be protected through ‘frictions’ that limit the supply of E-books in the same way that physical book loans are controlled;
- Pilot projects later in the year should test business models and help gather evidence of best practice; and
- The Public Lending Right should be extended to on-site e-loans, with consideration further ahead to including remote e-loans.
A series of pilot projects between publishers and libraries this year, using established literary events, will test business models and user behaviours to help provide a solid evidence base for going forward.
The Sieghart Review said publishers should be protected through “frictions” that limit the supply of e-books in the same way that physical book loans are controlled, including the lending of each digital copy to one reader at a time, securely removing e-books after lending and having digital books “deteriorate after a number of loans”.
The extension of Public Lending Right to audiobooks and loans of on-site e-books should be brought into force and PLR legislation should be extended to take account of remote e-lending too, the Review also said, with a growth in the PLR money pot.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.