Indyreads, a local approach to eContent licensing, aggregation and access

ALIA Library

Balharrie, Ross; Taylor, Marilyn; Turner, Nathan

ALIA Information Online 2017 Conference, 13-17 February 2017 Sydney: Data Information Knowledge
This conference paper discusses an investigation into a new public library elending model.
Abstract: In late 2015, the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) in collaboration with Leichhardt Library and Parramatta City Library embarked on a year-long pilot, called indyreads, to investigate a new elending model. Issues around the availability of ebook titles for elending in Australia and concerns over the prevailing licensing, distribution & pricing models for digital content were prime considerations which informed the development of the pilot. A further impetus for the pilot was the opportunity to work directly with community authors and independent, mid-list and open access publishers to explore ways of making locally important digital content more readily available to readers. indyreads also explored the suitability of the platform for hosting digitised local studies publications including ebooks, oral history recordings and video content from the pilot site collections. ebooks in languages other than English were also purchased.
The two pilot libraries utilised an econtent management platform supplied by our technology partner Odilo, to smoothly integrate digital content (ePub, PDF, MP3 & MP4 files) into their online catalogues providing a seamless discovery, access and download experience for their library members. To facilitate the acquisition of econtent from Australian publishers, the SLNSW developed a NSW Public Library Agreement for Purchasing Electronic Content. The agreement creates a framework which supports perpetual access rights, content preservation and accessibility. The agreement stipulates a one copy one loan model as a default with the flexibility to accommodate greater concurrency at the discretion of the rights holder. The agreement also permits segmented content acquisition and shared consortia collections. The platform can apply digital rights management and concurrent access rules in accordance to the terms and conditions negotiated.
At the time of submitting this abstract indyreads was mid-way through the trial period and will conclude in October 2016. The initial results have been promising with the platform launched and a growing number of local publishers and authors providing content. The paper will provide a full analysis of indyreads with a specific focus on the technology utilised, the development and application of a new licensing agreement and the establishment of direct partnerships with local publishers and authors for the provision of digital content. Future directions beyond the pilot including the possibility of rolling the initiative out across the state will also be discussed.


Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
State Library of New South Wales; Paramatta City Library