16 · Survey Results: Executive Summary
it affects the access of the material. The use of a task
force provides a strong basis of policy and procedure
creation which would lead to a change in practice.
A task force could also provide a forum to hear e-
book frustrations offered by representatives from
library administration, collection development, ac-
quisitions, services, and the library clientele. If e-book
format figures in the strategic plan, library adminis-
trators should clarify the e-book plan and take steps
to ensure staff acceptance. This change in workflow
is being addressed at conferences, and library ad-
ministrators could target their limited travel funds to
specific purposes such as the exploration of solutions
for workflow issues. The use of a wiki or an internal
website accessible to all library staff may also aid dis-
semination of information and transition to new and
cross-departmental work processes. It should be rec-
ognized that there is a learning curve demanded by
the e-book selection and acquisition process.
External factors likewise represent challenges.
Librarians can only do so much with internal issues
until vendors establish a stable and consistent busi-
ness model industry-wide. As Carolyn Morris states,
“At this point in time, there is relatively little differ-
ence among print vendors…. This is not true with eB-
ooks. The stakes are higher, the issues more complex,
and the differences among suppliers are immense.
It would be unwise to minimize these differences
merely to preserve workflows” (Part I, 87). As strong-
ly indicated in the survey, library e-book purchases
would increase under the following conditions:
• The e-book is published before the print
• The e-book costs less than the print edition.
• Multiple users and remote access for autho-
rized users is allowed.
• Ability to print at least sections of the work
• Individual selection of titles can occur rather
than the forced purchase of a vendor-deter-
• The decision to purchase or subscribe is
• Quality MARC records are available and
can be easily loaded into the catalog.
• Remote storage rather than storage on a
local server is offered; safeguards for access
and backup for archival purposes are in
• Model licensing and standardized content
management occurs industry-wide.
• One selection tool is available listing both
print and electronic titles, regardless of
A combination of other factors can be added to this
mix. Some of these are deal breakers; others remain
part of a perfect plan.
Libraries will continue to form policies on what
they find acceptable for an e-book purchase and will
soon limit their purchases to vendors who will meet
their conditions. Publishers or vendors who are dif-
ficult to deal with will be avoided. Sara Lloyd, of Pan
Macmillan, states “Publishers…will need to increas-
ingly accept huge cultural, social, economic, and edu-
cational changes and to respond to these in a positive
and creative way. We will need to think much less
about products and much more about content; we will
need to think of “the book” as a core or base structure
but perhaps one with more porous edges than it has
before” (Lloyd 31). Now is an optimum time for li-
braries and vendors to work together to form a new
and successful business model for the purchase of
e-books, one that satisfies all stakeholders: library,
publishers/vendors/aggregators, and users.
One success story along these lines is the de-
velopment and implementation of the eBook Loan
Service Project. The Canada Institute for Scientific
and Technical Information (CISTI) collaborated with
aggregator MyiLibrary to provide e-book loans from
the CISTI catalog to outside patrons for a specified pe-
riod at a reasonable cost. Obstacles to the implemen-
tation included obtaining publisher licenses, fear of
unauthorized access and subsequent loss of income,
agreement on print allowances, and a new easy-to-use
access and client platform. Partnering a non-profit
institution with a for-profit enterprise, the goal of this
new business model was to advance “the overall cause
of making scholarly literature seamlessly available for
libraries and users” (Woods 113).