After years of expressing concern about the potential impact that library lending might have on consumer sales, major publishers have good cause to take another look at the library market for ebooks, according to executives from library ebook distributors OverDrive, 3M, and Baker & Taylor. With consumer sales growth slowing, bolstering institutional sales will likely become more of a priority for major publishers. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash noted that publishers, like all for-profit companies, are always looking for growth, and “there’s still a lot a growth in institutions, and there [are] significant opportunities for growth in education…. If retail is flattening, you have to experiment.”
Shortly after Simon & Schuster’s June 26 announcement that it had concluded a 15-month pilot test and would make its entire ebook catalog available to all U.S. libraries, Macmillan last week announced that it will make all frontlist ebook titles available to U.S. libraries as well. These moves mark a milestone in terms of the availability of popular ebooks, as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster became the final two of the “big five” publishers to allow U.S. libraries to license and loan all titles in their ebook collections.
When ebooks or other digital materials are not readily available in libraries, publishers “are missing a key conduit to a market that [they] can’t tap any other way,” Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, stated in her opening remarks for the “The Untapped Retail Channel: Public Libraries” panel on Friday, May 30 at the 2014 BookExpo America (BEA) conference in New York. Leaders from top library ebook and streaming media companies weighed in on this issue during an hour-long discussion.
Simon & Schuster (S&S) last week expanded their library ebook pilot to systems outside of New York City and announced that OverDrive had become a new partner in the test. The pilot was launched in April 2013, with the 3M Cloud Library and BiblioCommons supporting lending and acquisition for the New York Public Library and […]
In partnership with Minnesota’s Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) consortium, 3M has developed CloudLink, a new feature for its ebook lending system for consortia. Many consortial arrangements involve member libraries contributing ebooks to a common pool that patrons from all libraries can use. In addition to this functionality, CloudLink also enables any patron from any MELSA library to check out ebooks from the private collections of any other MELSA library, provided there is no holds list for the title.
Hachette Book Group today announced that it will once again sell its frontlist ebook titles to libraries, beginning on May 8. Hachette’s entire catalog of 5,000 ebooks will now be available through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and the 3M Cloud Library, under a pricing and licensing model similar to the one employed by Random House.
With a flurry of partnership announcements pending before ALA Midwinter in Seattle, SirsiDynix is within weeks of the official launch of eResource Central (eRC).The electronic resource management system promises to make ebooks and other digital content from multiple vendors seamlessly available through its Symphony and Horizon ILS systems via the SirsiDynix Enterprise and Portfolio discovery tools.
“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”
The Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), Pioneer Library System (PLS), Hennepin County Library (HCL), and Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) were among several library systems that broke single-day ebook and audiobook-lending records this past Christmas, according to an announcement by OverDrive.In separate news, 3M last month achieved a milestone in its goal to make ebook searching a completely seamless experience.