E-book Value Statement

Updated Jan. 12, 2015

The CI-CCI Libraries (Central College, Drake University, Grand View University, Grinnell College, Simpson College, and the University of Northern Iowa) make significant investments in information resources that best support teaching, learning, and research at our institutions. These materials are purchased in the formats that work best for our students, faculty, and staff.

We believe it is the responsibility of academic libraries to help guide scholarly publishers in ways that are responsive to the needs of our users and that help us to be effective managers of our Libraries’ collections funds. As scholarly monographs transition from print to electronic, the CI-CCI Libraries seek to establish a set of key values which will serve to influence our collective acquisition of e-books and the e-book publishing marketplace.

Statements from the University of Iowa, the Texas A&M University Libraries, the University of California Libraries, and the UCLA Library were used as models for this e-book value statement.

Supporting the Needs of Research and Instruction

  1. Licensing terms that do not limit fair use, Section 108, and first sale doctrines under U.S. copyright law, including the use of e-book content for course reserves, course management systems, and course packs.
  2. Consistency of content, illustrations, and supplementary materials between print and electronic books.
  3. Persistent URLs for use with public and internal web sites, electronic reserves, course management systems, and course packs.
  4. The ability to borrow and lend e-books in a manner analogous to the loan of physical books.
  5. Simultaneous access by an unlimited number of users, at a reasonable cost.
  6. Direct notification (i.e. via email) when new e-books have been added to or removed from existing licensed collections.

Discovery & Positive User Experience

  1. Our users routinely engage in scholarly sharing with their students and colleagues, and licenses must not hinder that practice.
  2. The ability to discover and access e-books in a variety of ways, including through library catalogs, discovery portals (by providing full-level bibliographic records), format- and discipline-specific public portals, and other search interfaces preferred by library users.
  3. Must provide access to econtent through IP authentication and/or EZProxy to authorized users such as current faculty, staff, and students, visiting scholars, and walk-in users.
  4. Must provide ADA compliance in accordance with state and federal law.
  5. Library users must be able to navigate/browse, search, and preview content easily and efficiently.
  6. Library users must be able to highlight text and take notes that can be accessed at a later date.
  7. Library users must be able to save, print, and download content.
  8. Library users must be able to download an entire book to an ereader (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.) for convenient reading.
  9. Library users must have the ability to export bibliographic information to citation management software.
  10. Do not require additional logins (beyond the library’s proxy authentication) to view or download e-books.
  11. Must provide easy administration/management; an administrative module through which the local library has the ability to directly manage titles (for example, to remove titles) without having to contact the vendor to make a change.

Sustainable and Fair Business Models

  1. Perpetual access rights to purchased content, regardless of the life of the platform, including the ability to archive content locally or through a third-party provider selected by a library (such as LOCKSS, Portico).
  2. Protection of patrons’ right to privacy, including their right to understand how their personal information is used by the vendor or publisher.
  3. Reasonable and flexible pricing models that allow for the option to purchase discrete subject-based collections and/or individual titles, as opposed to bundled packages.
  4. Simultaneous format availability of front-list titles for print and electronic books.
  5. Timely COUNTER BR1 usage statistics.
  6. Minimal, or no, maintenance or access fees.
  7. When prior substantial investments in alternative formats have been made by our Libraries, monetary credit should apply toward the purchase of electronic versions.
  8. Content must be accessible across a variety of platforms and devices and must evolve with the emergence of new technologies. As national standards and best practices concerning the e-book market evolve, our Libraries expect provider partners to comply with these standards.