The problems associated with digital content are perhaps some of the biggest facing libraries today, in my opinion. As the demand to access digital content rises, libraries are more and more at the mercy of licensing agreements from publishers. Our budgets are wrapped up on content that we don’t own or control.
Someone wants to help us with that. eBooksAreForever is trying to create a collection of ebooks for libraries in North America at sustainable prices that will be completely controlled and owned by the library. They also are working to allow unlimited simultaneous use for patrons.
Ebooks are forever. So why can’t libraries buy ebooks at affordable prices, and own those ebooks for eternity?
Now libraries can.
At eBooksAreForever, our goal is simple: easily deliver great ebook content to libraries all across the country. Not only will libraries own the ebooks they buy, they’ll have easy access to as many copies as they need so more than one patron can borrow a title at the same time. And buying a single title will allow the library to lend it in all ebook formats, both present and future.
Imagine a single point where libraries can come to purchase the titles their patrons want; a system that interfaces with any and every library, regardless of what ILS they are running; a marketplace that is constantly adding content, while growing with the industry it serves. Imagine a service that brings all of the random branches of the current library community together for the very first time.
We’re working to make it easy, fast, and lucrative for libraries to acquire ebooks. Yes, we said lucrative (read the FAQ for more information). Libraries are asking for solutions… and eBooksAreForever is listening.
They are only in beta. I am very curious as to how they will accomplish simultaneous use. And I am sure they, like other ebook platforms, will suffer from unknown or unwanted collection content. But I applaud the effort. When I try to think of how we can get out of the choke hold publishers have us in, my mind hurts by all of the obstacles we face. ANY effort to make the information flow more freely is good by me… but that is just me with my radical ideas. Going to keep my eye on this!