MA eBook Project in the News

There have been two recent articles discussing what is happening in Massachusetts with the eBook pilot project.

Four Lessons Libraries Can Learn From Amazon (Digital Book World)

Why It’s Difficult For Your Library To Lend eBooks (

There was also a TedxCharleston Talk with Andrew Roskill, CEO & Partner of BiblioLabs, Inc.  Roskill addresses how libraries can bridge the digital divide.  Though there is no mention of the MA eBook Project, many of the concepts are related to why we began the MA eBook Pilot Project.

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Library Journal & BiblioBoard

One of the issues with eBooks is the overwhelming number of self-published books – what is the review process and how can libraries keep up?  Here is an article on how Library Journal and BiblioBoard (one of the vendors for the MA eBook Project) are teaming up to help with this process.

SELF-e: Connecting Self-Published Authors, Libraries, and Readers

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Legislative Agenda FY15 – End the Digital Lockout

150x71-MA-EbooksThe MA eBook Project is a first step in providing access to eBooks on a statewide level.  Participating in this project are 50 libraries of all types – public, academic, school and special.  Funding for this project is made possible by the Massachusetts Library System in partnership with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and your local library, funded, in part, by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Sustainability and funding for statewide implementation to over 1600 MA libraries, is critical to its success.  This year’s Legislative Agenda is focused on increasing funds to specific lines to help this effort.  The first is increasing State Aid to Public Libraries and the second is to increase the Automated Networks/Library Technology & Resource Sharing.  Both of these lines are important.

Over the next 3 weeks, we are asking for your help!  If you live Massachusetts, please consider sending a postcard to your local legislator.  This postcard campaign can be powerful if we all take part!

postcardlogoeBook Legislative Postcard

Look for your local legislator’s name

Link to more information about the Legislative Agenda FY15

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EBL Joins the MA eBook Project

We are excited to announce our partnership with EBL (Ebook Library, a Proquest business) for the MA eBook Project.  Pilot libraries will be able to offer a short-term loan model to their patrons.  What does this mean?  Patrons will have access to over 170,000 titles, and can preview any of these titles for a five minute period.  If they decide it is a book they want, they can choose up to a seven day checkout.   EBL  content can be accessed by multiple users at the same time.  This is perfect for a classroom setting.

EBL offers content across all academic and professional subject areas.  This is especially important to our academic libraries, and can enhance collections for schools and public libraries with this specific content.

For more information, download the EBL Brochure.

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Ending the Digital Lockout & Goals of the MA eBook Project

The Massachusetts Library System and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are hard at work to End the Digital Lockout.  The MA eBook pilot project, envisioned by the Statewide Resource Sharing Committee, to provide thousands of eBooks to 51 pilot libraries in Massachusetts is underway!

We understand that OverDrive is advertising a consortium for small public libraries in Massachusetts.  To be clear—this is a commercial venture and MLS is not involved.  We do plan to roll out eBook services to all Massachusetts libraries over the next couple of years in collaboration with MBLC after the pilot project is successful.

Our primary goal is to create a single eBook platform and shared collection for all Massachusetts libraries and their patrons.  Continue reading

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MA eBook Project Has Launched!

150x71-MA-EbooksWe are proud to announce that last Thursday, November 21 we officially launched the MA eBook Project.  Our Launch Party Program started with a welcome from Greg Pronevitz, Executive Director, Mass Library System; Dianne Carty, Acting Director, MBLC;  Jan Resnick, Commissioner, MBLC; Mitchell Davis, Founder & Chief Business Officer, BiblioLabs; and Marin Foster, Digital Content Sales Manager, Baker & Taylor.

Next was a demonstration of the MA eBook Project Catalog where all the eBooks that can be accessed during the pilot project can be searched in a single place.  Then each of the eBook platforms were explained and shown. This included the BiblioBoard Library which has over 30,000 eBooks and other historical, curated materials available for simultaneous, multiple user access; and Axis 360 which will have more than 3,000 in-demand titles available as a single user checkout.

Here is the official Press Release that went out today to various library and media contacts.  MA eBook Project Press Release


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MA eBook Project Update

Here is an update on the MA eBook Project.  The purpose of this pilot project is to explore alternative models that provide ownership of content, short term loans/leasing options and the ability to upload and curate our own local collections of materials.

MLS is still in the process of negotiating agreements with the three vendors chosen for this project.  The three vendors are Baker & Taylor, BiblioBoard and EBL.  Once the project is launched, the pilot will continue for at least six months.

We have established three critical task force groups that are working on various aspects of the project.  They are:  Statewide Collection Development & Policies; PR, Promotion & Training; and Funding & Sustainability.  Task force members include pilot library representation from all types (academic, public, school and special), Resource Sharing Planning Committee members, staff from MBLC, and staff from MLS.

The Collection Development group has been working with B&T and EBL on building an opening day collection and working on a statewide collection development policy, including the mission and goals of the project, loan guidelines, reconsideration, reviews, suggest-a-title, and self-published guidelines.

The PR, Promotion & Training group has been working on developing materials and a manual for the implementation, launch and training for staff and patrons.  We are also working with MBLC to bring a unified message about eBooks with this year’s Legislative Agenda theme.

The Sustainability & Funding group is working with the MLA Legislative Committee to look at ways to support a call to action around access issues, as well as looking at potential funding sources as we move this project statewide.  The focus will be on building support with legislators around the Legislative theme to “End the Digital Lockout.”

MBLC has awarded MLS a $150,000 grant to get this pilot project off the ground.  This will help offset costs for platform fees, content and promotional materials.

Over 130 pilot library staff, MLS and network staff recently attended training by all three vendors.  Libraries and networks are currently working on setting up authentication for implementation, and we hope to begin testing soon.

This is a first step to navigating the eBook environment for a statewide shared collection, with multi-type libraries that make up the MLS membership.  We will not meet all the needs of the state; however through the evaluation of the pilot project we will learn more about what will work and what libraries and their patrons want and need to support their literacy goals.

If you would like to follow this project, there is a blog and Resource Guide.  I am also happy to answer any questions you may have about this project.

Happy eReading!

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Libraries Need to Take Action on eBook Access

Another reason why libraries need to push authors to allow eBook purchases to libraries.  Our patrons don’t have access to them through the library – only if they buy them.  Take a look at the latest post in the American Libraries Magazine by Jamie La Rue.

DCL eBook Report for September 2013

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Pilot Library Map

Are you a visual person?  We now have a map of where the eBook pilot libraries are located.  Thank you, Caitlin!

Pilot Library Map1For complete list of pilot libraries, check out the eBook Resource Guide and click on “Pilot Libraries” Tab

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eBook Vendor Negotiations

We feel that at this time, we can announce the three vendors that MLS is negotiating with for the eBook Pilot Project.  Please remember that at any time this is subject to change, as we have not signed any agreements yet.  The three vendors that we hope to work with are:

BiblioLabs, LLC: BiblioLabs has created and developed two platform-as-a-service software products, BiblioBoard Library and BiblioBoard Creator.  We will be using both of these products.  The goal is to expose users to curated collections of content, as well as upload local content from libraries and local publishers.

EBL: EBL specializes in aggregating and distributing eBooks which will enable libraries to view a collection of eBooks and have the ability to have a “short-term loan” of an item.  This allows more content to be viewed and accessed by simultaneous users at the same time.  Titles may also be purchased and owned.

Baker & Taylor:  Axis360 is the eBook platform that will be used to access eBook titles purchased through Baker & Taylor.  There are many collection development options available through this platform, and will allow customization based on library type.

We are very excited to make this announcement and hope that you will stay tuned as we firm up our negotiations and begin to work on implementation with our pilot libraries!

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