15 essential ebook license terms for libraries

To help libraries navigate through the ebook environment, the American Library Association (ALA) released today “The Business Model Scorecard,” (pdf) a report that examines specific variables often seen in library ebook license contracts (Download the pdf report).

The report, which was created by the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group (DCWG), can be used by librarians to weigh ebook contract variables most important to their library. The report assesses 15 ebook contract variables of importance to libraries, ranging from ebook title inclusion, to ebook pricing, to immediate patron access. These variables include important ebook lending characteristics, such as ebook revenue streams for publishers and ebook 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 libraries can use to craft model contracts that work for their library systems.”

The report is a follow up to the 2012 ALA report “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries,” a report that describes general features and attributes of the current ebook environment and outlines constraints and restrictions of current business models.

View the full report (pdf)

Jazzy Wright is the Press Officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office. Email her at jwright@alawash.org.

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  1. [...] the conference, the DCWG released “Ebook Business Models: A Scorecard for Public Libraries,” a guide that helps librarians consider and evaluate the breadth of important characteristics, not just [...]

  2. [...] largely focused, to date, on access to ebooks for library users. It is working on accessibility, business models favorable to library licensing, e-content in school libraries, and outreach and communication to all stakeholders — including [...]

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