A consortium of 10 academic libraries in Nova Scotia, Novanet, has negotiated a deal with publishers to allow the sharing of ebooks among libraries as freely as they share print books. The libraries are Atlantic School of Theology, Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Nova Scotia Community College, St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary’s University, University of King’s College, and Universite Sainte-Anne.
According to an article in unews.ca, the libraries deposited a total of $100,000 to access a shared collection of 16,000 ebooks through the vendor EBL. “The agreement represents something of a breakthrough for academic libraries in North America,” says Novanet manager Bill Slauenwhite. “Publishers, especially academic publishers … they’re not happy about losing any of their market share. So this was a hard slog and a hard negotiation.”
The agreement applies to only 28 publishers and a limited selection of recently published books, but the libraries are hoping this is a breakthrough and that it will eventually become a standard. Much more info in the article.