February 4, 2013
ALA Releases E-Book Business Models: A Scorecard for Public Libraries
From ALA's Digital Content and Libraries Working Group follow-up report, E-Book Business Models: A Scorecard for Public Libraries (Jan. 25, 2013).
The Digital Content & Libraries Working Group (DCWG) began documenting and describing attributes of various licensing arrangements libraries may have with publishers in the August 2012 report Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries. Now we are pleased to share The Ebook Business Model Scorecard, which more fully examines the variables often seen in ebook license agreements or contracts. At the same time, the variables, when considered as a whole, can help libraries conceptualize licenses holistically instead of fixating on one aspect of a contract in isolation.
It is worth noting that licensing models for ebooks are in flux. Many libraries are experimenting with the development of their own licensing schemes, some already entering into agreements with independent publishers and self-publishing groups. This document focuses on the kinds of licensing terms we see generally in the ebook industry at this time, and the kinds of variables libraries should consider when bargaining with publishers, or when libraries determine that they want to develop their own business models, as some proactive libraries already have done.