News story

e-Lending in libraries: what do you think?

Independent panel calls for evidence to inform review.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

e-Books are transforming the way the nation reads.  But how should libraries respond to the challenges and opportunities that this new technology presents?

That’s the question being asked by an independent panel, appointed by Ed Vaizey, to look at the issue of ‘e-lending’.  The panel - headed by William Sieghart, and with representatives from all parties affected by e-lending - is issuing a call for evidence to inform their discussions.

Panel member and author Joanna Trollope OBE explains the work of the review in our video, below.

Joanna Trollope explains the e-lending review 

The panel are considering the following areas, and welcome submissions from any interested parties

1. The benefits of e-lending.
2. The current level and nature of demand for e-lending in English libraries, along with a projection of future demand. For example, will e-lending be in addition to traditional borrowing of print books, or is it likely to transform the way in which library users access services? What is the demand for downloading e-books remotely, that is, away from library premises? To what extent do owners of e-readers value public e-lending above what is freely or commercially available elsewhere?
3. Current supply models, barriers to the supply of e-books to libraries, and likely** future trends.
Systems for remunerating authors / publishers for e-lending.
5. The impact of e-lending on publishers and their business models.
6. Any unforeseen consequences of e-lending. For example, the impact on those who cannot keep up with technology, the likely long-term impact on the model of highly localised physical library premises, skills requirements for librarians, etc.

The independent panel now includes new member Jane Streeter, founder of The Bookcase chain of shops and publishing arm Bookcase Editions Ltd.  Jane is a trustee of the East Midlands Book Award, has just completed a two year term as President of the Booksellers Association, and is about to become Chair of Writing East Midlands.

To submit evidence to the panel, email before 5pm on Tuesday 6 November 2012.

Further information

Published 16 October 2012