While more libraries in the U.S. are buying and distributing eBooks to patrons, the business model still needs to be worked out, according to a new study by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
Unlike the print book business model, in which libraries buy a certain amount of books for a set price and distribute those texts widely, most digital content is licensed with specific conditions about when and where it can be distributed. According to the report, libraries are struggling with “an inability to guarantee library user access to otherwise commercially available eBooks with reasonable pricing and acceptable use conditions.”
Here is more from the report:
…libraries continue to have to deal with imposed and inflexible terms and conditions, some of which impede legislated copyright exceptions. As a result, efforts are underway in university libraries to retain the right to interlibrary loan through piloting controlled access to researchers outside the institution with the content licence. Such pilots have sought publisher consent.