A consortium of Nova Scotian universities is testing a pilot inter-library ebook lending service that is being touted as a “breakthrough for academic libraries in North America,”according to the Halifax website unews.ca.
Novanet – a diverse group of 10 universities that includes Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Community College, and Université Sainte-Anne – paid a $100,000 deposit to ebook vendor EBL, which in turn allows all library patrons to access a centralized pool of 16,000 ebooks.
In an interview with unews.ca, Novanet manager Bill Slauenwhite says, “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 program, which will be evaluated for its success after a year, does have limitations: only 28 publishers are participating with a limited number of new titles.