May 22, 2022

New Research Article (Preprint): “New Consortial Model for E-Books Acquisitions”

The following approved for publication preprint was recently made available on the College & Research Libraries web site. It is scheduled for publication in the May 2016 issue.


New Consortial Model for E-Books Acquisitions


Luke Swindler
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


College & Research Libraries Website


E-books constitute major challenges for library collections generally and present fundamental problems for consortial collection development specifically. The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) and Oxford University Press (OUP) have created a mutually equitable and financially sustainable model for the consortial acquisition of e-books coupled with print titles needed to support instruction and research across the disciplinary spectrum within a transitional framework that is acceptable to users while moving both libraries and publishers to a decidedly electronic environment for monographs.

Working with YBP Library Services, TRLN and OUP developed a flexible vending model for systematically increasing e-books acquisitions in tandem with reducing print intake over time and keeping net costs constant that other consortia and publishers would find useful.

This article focuses on creating an acceptable and sustainable model that allows libraries to shift to e-books and the implications for traditional cooperative collection development. The research reports on the principles undergirding the pilot, how it developed, challenges encountered and lessons learned, librarian and user reactions to this format shift, and resulting philosophical and practical evolutions in consortial approaches to monographic acquisitions and understandings of what constitutes cooperative collections success in a digital environment.

Direct to Full Text Article (28 pages; PDF)

See Also: Research Library Consortia Making “En Bloc” Purchases of Ebooks (December 11, 2013)
Also written by Luke Swindler.

See Also: Oxford University Press and Two Research Library Organizations Announce eBook Deal (September 25, 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.