eBooks and Interlibrary Loan? Short-term lease is a better option. An editorial by Michael Levine-Clark

Michael Levine-Clark, Collections Librarian at the University of Denver has written an editorial for Collaborative Librarianship.  His editorial, Whither ILL? Wither ILL: The Changing Nature of Resource Sharing for E-Books suggests that Interlibrary Loan is a wonderful way to share print books among libraries.  However, in a digital world Michael believes that a short-term leases system, which is more economical than ILL, is a better solution.

A clip from Michael’s editorial:

This short-term lease process would work if (1) titles could be leased for a brief time (a day, a week, or a month); (2) the cost for this service were lower than or equal to the current cost of ILL; and (3) if there were enough titles available.

2 thoughts on “eBooks and Interlibrary Loan? Short-term lease is a better option. An editorial by Michael Levine-Clark”

  1. At a meeting in New England earlier this summer between librarians and ebook publishers, we arrived at the pretty much the same conclusions as Michael.

    This will only work, of course, as long as everything that’s published remains available, but publishers all seem to agree that ‘out of print’ is a dead concept in the ebook world.

    The only exception to this will be where old editions are replaced by new–and this could be the instance where some sort of contingency for direct library-to-library lending (L2L? is that worth distinguishing from ILL?) might be necessary.

  2. We have been an EBL (Ebooks Library) customer for 3 years. Our default access in 24-hour STL (short term loan). As of a moment ago, there are 197,575 eBooks in this collection, and we have MARC records for all in our OPAC. Our users accessed 24,063 titles in FY11. We find this to be a very successful and cost effective (typically 10% of list or less to access) resource.

Comments are closed.