The American Library Association knows that adopting a sound digital strategy for ebooks can be a daunting endeavor. Many publishers and content distribution companies have extensive terms and licensing agreements that are fairly complex. ALA has released a new checklist today that seeks to make the digital shift a little bit easier and encourages libraries to weigh a number of factors before investing.
The Business Model Scorecard is a new a report that examines specific variables often seen in library ebook license contracts. The report, which was created by the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group, and can be used by librarians to weigh ebook contract variables most important to their library. The report basically outlines 15 ebook contract variables of importance to libraries, ranging from title inclusion and pricing to immediate patron access. These variables include important digital book lending characteristics, such as revenue streams for publishers and accessibility for people with disabilities.
“We developed the ‘Scorecard’ to ensure that librarians have the information they need to better negotiate ebook licensing agreements with publishers,” said Erika Linke, co-chair of the DCWG’s business models subgroup. “While no single business model will offer the best terms for all libraries, this report details lending terms that public libraries can use to craft model contracts that work for their library systems.”