TRLN to Investigate E-Book Models with Mellon Foundation Grant

The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) has received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop business models and licensing terms for the cooperative acquisition of e-books.

Through the grant, entitled “Beyond Print,” TRLN will produce a community statement on consortial e-book pricing models, licensing terms and negotiation strategies. TRLN plans to present the statement at the Charleston Conference for book and serials acquisition in November 2011, and then forward it to the International Coalition of Library Consortia for the group’s 2012 meeting.

TRLN also hopes to identify e-book vendors willing to implement new e-book marketing models.

TRLN will develop its statement at a two day invitational e-book summit in Chapel Hill in August 2011, during which librarians, publishers, and e-book vendors will seek to close the gap between current market offerings and the needs of research libraries.

TRLN will also use the $41,000 grant to contract with publishing and library consultant Judy Luther of Informed Strategies, of Ardmore, Pa. Luther will work with TRLN libraries to collect and analyze member, publisher and library data about e-books, and to develop and report on the e-book summit.

The grant comes at a critical time, said Sarah Michalak, principal investigator.

Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost for University Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “Both publishers and libraries are struggling to figure out fair business practices for a format that is evolving rapidly. We need ways for libraries to collect collaboratively, as we always have in print, and for publishers to develop sustainable models.”

TRLN, consisting of the libraries at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, has a long history of building print collections collaboratively, said executive director Mona Couts. TRLN has successfully engaged in collaborative collection development since the 1930s, and in recent years has implemented shared discovery tools and delivery mechanisms.

“TRLN has a vision of breaking down any remaining barriers to a long-standing goal of one research collection, serving one user community across four distinct institutions,” said Couts. “With our history of sharing print collections, and extensive data on circulation and use, we are well-positioned to tackle the vexing problem of sharing e-books, and we look forward to doing so with our consortia and vendor colleagues.”

For information contact:

Triangle Research Libraries Network

Mona Couts (919-962-8022 or mona @trln.org)

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