Ebooks in UK Public Libraries: where we are now and the way ahead

By Penny Garrod, Public Library Networking Focus, UKOLN and Jane Weller, Hampshire Libraries E-Resources Librarian and Co-South Reference Task Group Co-ordinator.

An issue paper from the Networked Services Policy Task Group
Series editor: Penny Garrod (UKOLN)

Number 2 - January 2005

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Link to British Council web site Link to Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) web site Link to MLA website

1. Introduction

"I suspect that more words are being published about the e-book phenomenon in print than have actually been placed into e-books so far". [1]

This wry observation was made by Clifford Lynch in: The Battle to define the future of the book in the digital world published in June 2001. Three years later ebooks still attract a lot of interest within the library and information world and in the national media. The notion of ebooks eventually replacing traditional print books has even been mooted on occasions, but Rod Bristow, president of Pearson Education UK, argues that this is unlikely to happen, quoting the history of media in general as evidence of integration rather than outright replacement" [2].

2. What is an ebook?

It is important to distinguish between digital content and the technology which enables a reader to access this content. The availability, accessibility and cost of content is of prime concern to libraries, and although decisions have to be made about hardware and software, these are simply the tools which enable ebooks to be downloaded and read.

The confusion surrounding ebooks was demonstrated in 2002, when Resource (now the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)) [3] commissioned an ebook survey across UK public libraries [4]. The research involved a questionnaire to library authorities which asked if ebooks formed part of their collections. Those who replied in the affirmative were then asked to specify what they actually had in terms of "hardware/software, number of titles, type of titles". They were presented with a list which included ebook suppliers, reading devices and software, and categories of content e.g. fiction, non-fiction, reference etc. The term 'ebook' was not defined or explained here, but used as an all embracing term and CDROMs were included on this list. Of the 13 respondents who claimed to provide ebooks, 12 were referring to CD-ROM. Only one authority - Blackburn with Darwen Borough libraries - actually lent dedicated ebook devices (Rocket ebooks) pre-loaded with Microsoft Reader software and a range of ebook titles.

The naming of the 'Rocket ebook' (which is no longer in production) [5] may have contributed to the notion of ebook as device, and this early device resembled a printed book in shape and size, leading to speculation that it would eventually replace the printed book. Today the term ebook tends to mean actual content - i.e. books that are available in electronic form, and which can be downloaded from the Internet and read on a variety of hardware platforms with the aid of reading software. The hardware component can be:

The reading software, often referred to as an 'ebook reader', is linked to the format in which the ebook is published. Ebooks are published in a variety of formats which require appropriate software to 'decode' the text thus enabling it to be read on a computer or mobile device. This software must be compatible with the hardware platform in use e.g. Microsoft Reader can be used with PCs, and is included on Pocket PCs. These factors need to be taken into consideration when choosing an ebook supplier; some suppliers focus on PC-based solutions, whilst others provide mobile technology solutions, or they may offer both.

Implementing ebooks is a complicated business, and publishers are anxious to protect their profits and have taken steps to ensure that ebooks do not suffer the same fate as the music industry during the 'Napster' episode. Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems are designed to protect ebooks from unauthorised access and copying, and changes to UK Copyright laws, introduced in 2003 [6], are designed to protect owners of copyright material in electronic form. It is now an offence to try to interfere with, or avoid, protection mechanisms. The access models offered by ebook suppliers reflect publishers concerns, but do not necessarily provide the level of access libraries require. The 'one book, one reader' model, currently offered by netLibrary is an example. [7]

3. Advantages and disadvantages of ebooks

Stock Management

Ebooks have advantages over print titles for libraries as well as users. They neither occupy shelf space nor generate 'overdues' - ebooks automatically 'expire' at the end of a loan period. In addition, ebooks cannot be damaged, lost, or stolen (although library owned portable reading devices do run this risk). Ebooks may free staff from routine tasks, such as shelving, and issuing and returning books.

Targeting specific groups of users

Ebooks can be a boon to specific groups of users such as housebound and disabled people, and those living in rural areas. For example, text size can be enlarged to meet individual requirements, and with PDAs, the user has a lightweight, portable library which does not involve visiting a physical library.

Reader development activities

Ebooks can be used to support reader development, as well as distance and e-learning. Children, young people and non readers may be encouraged to read if technology is part of the reading experience, and a degree of interaction is involved.

Ebooks can be divided into manageable chunks, so a single chapter is available. Publishers of academic texts may offer this model, sometimes referred to as 'slicing and dicing'. It enables university libraries to meet heavy demand for specific items during the academic year, and lends itself to large, expensive text books where the library may hold a single copy on campus. The model might work in a public library, for example a long novel could be released a chapter at a time for use with reading groups. The concept is not new - Charles Dickens published many of his novels in instalments to great effect; it enabled the writer to maintain suspense, and build a large and loyal readership who eagerly awaited the next instalment. In addition, e-books can be used to promote print collections; readers can dip into and scan the contents of an ebook, and may decide the printed book is more suitable.

Interlibrary loans

In the longer term, ebooks may be able to satisfy demand for titles requested through interlibrary loans. The tradition has been for libraries to transport requested items from branch to branch, or to borrow books from other libraries, on payment of a fee to cover costs. However, it may be possible for ebook suppliers to provide items for short term loan to readers. The trend towards consortial purchasing of digital content may enable authorities purchasing the same ebook package, but with a different selection of titles, to satisfy requests from within the consortium.


Libraries have to weigh the perceived advantages of ebooks against a number of drawbacks, for example:

4. Hardware platforms for delivering ebooks

Ebooks can be delivered via desktop PCs or a laptop or PC tablet computer. Ebooks can also be delivered via a range of mobile technologies e.g. PDAs and 3G mobile phones, known as 'Smartphones'. Library authorities will need to discuss the implementation of ebook services with their local authority IT department. Note that IT departments serve the whole local authority and libraries may not be top priority. There are layers of bureaucracy to penetrate, and political issues to consider - all of which can cause delay. Security issues also have to be addressed, especially where remote access to ebook collections is planned, or where users are permitted to access the network via their own computer devices.

Mobile technologies

PDAs are portable multifunctional devices which may offer scaled-down versions of standard software applications. They may pose less of a financial risk to libraries than dedicated ebook readers, such as the old Rocket ebook and the Franklin eBookman [11]. PDAs can be purchased, pre-loaded with titles and lent to users. MP3 players and other audio devices can also be used with digital audio-books, and some makes of PDA and Smartphone are capable of handling ebooks and e-audio books.

Issues to consider include finding suitable content in the right format for the model of PDA or audio player; replacement and repair costs, and being alert to the fact that these devices go out of date very quickly as new models come onto the market. Smartphones may be the technology of choice for future generations as they offer a converged solution i.e. mobile phone, camera, email, Internet access etc. in one portable device.

5. Formats and ebook/e-audio readers

The following ebook formats were in use at the beginning of 2004, and readers (i.e. the software) for these formats can be downloaded free of charge [12]:

Audio files:

6. Content

If 'content is king' then ebooks are no exception. Although the situation is changing, the bulk of content is aimed at the academic community. The choice of materials suitable for public libraries is limited. Content issues include:

Ebook aggregators/suppliers

A growing number of ebook suppliers provide services specifically for the library market rather than the private consumer. Ebook suppliers in the United States are now targeting European libraries, although the focus is on academic libraries where the market is well established. The establishment of an ebooks Working Group within the Joint Information Systems Committee (the JISC) [16] has helped the take-up of ebooks in higher education. For example, the JISC have negotiated a subscription package with Taylor and Francis, which enables academic libraries to purchase 180 books on a 'pick and mix' basis. [17]

Ebook suppliers offer a range of access and licensing models. Content can be purchased as a collection or 'bundle' or on a title by title basis. Subject coverage ranges from the specialist e.g. to popular fiction and non-fiction titles. netLibrary is a long-established player whilst Ebrary [18], OverDrive and Gale [19] are relative newcomers to the UK library market, offering alternative pricing and access models to netLibrary. More information on ebook suppliers can be found in section 8.

US bias

Publishers and suppliers of ebooks are mainly in the US so the content reflects the interests and culture of the American market. The US bias of content can render titles unsuitable for UK readers, and some titles are restricted to US customers only, although they may be listed on suppliers' catalogues. In response to comments made by members of the netLibrary User Group [20], netLibrary have entered into negotiations with a number of international publishers who are now providing content which meets the needs of European customers.


Non fiction ebooks, aimed primarily at the higher education and business community, are available from suppliers including netLibrary, Books24x7 [21], Safari Technical, ebrary and Overdrive. Coverage is particularly good in the areas of computing, IT, medicine, social science, business studies and management.


Many ebook suppliers tend to focus on non-fiction content aimed at the academic and business communities; fiction titles are often restricted to out of copyright classics which are in the public domain. Suppliers of fiction have mainly targeted the individual consumer, who typically purchases content with a credit card. However the US company, Overdrive, does supply fiction to libraries, and the service is currently being trialled in the UK in Essex public libraries, [22] and Blackburn with Darwen Borough libraries [23].


Modern and popular fiction titles are available in e-audio format. Audible.com supplies audio content to the London Borough of Richmond [24] and Blackburn with Darwen. E-audio books can be played on a PC, an MP3 player, or other compatible devices. Audible.com titles include popular fiction from well known UK authors, such as Terry Pratchett, Ellis Peters and PD James. Any ebook published in the Adobe format also has an audio option if the 'Read out Loud' feature, mentioned above, has been enabled by the publisher.

Children's literature

The availability of e-content suitable for children is extremely limited. The US has the 'Childrens elibrary' [25] which claims to lead the field in the provision of children's ebooks on the Internet. Content includes 'Tumblebooks' from netLibrary and titles from Oxford University Press, Dreamworks and Bantam Books. Teenagers are a distinct group requiring different provision, for example graphic novels.

Free ebooks

Free ebooks are mainly out of copyright classic fiction titles. Project Gutenberg [26] is the oldest producer of free electronic books having started out in 1971, and now with 6267 titles in the public domain ( November 2002; recent figure unavailable). Global sources of free ebooks can be found on an Australian portal [27]. A list of sources of free content can also be found in a report on a survey by the Oxford Text Archives in 2003. [28] Many well known publishers and distributors also offer some titles for free, including Amazon (UK) [29] and Penguin Books [30]. By providing a link to sources such as these on library Web pages, users will be able to see what is available, and gain access to ebooks in the public domain.

7. Access and pricing models:

One book, one user access model:
This model mimics the traditional book loan model i.e. a single copy of a title is loaned to a single library user. Titles are automatically deleted, at the end of the loan, so the user can no longer access or renew a title once it has expired. The one book, one user access model is currently offered by netLibrary. Libraries wishing to avoid users being 'turned away' when a book is being used by another reader, have to purchase multiple copies of popular titles. The model has been widely criticised and netLibrary and Overdrive are currently looking at alternative models.

Multi-user, simultaneous access model:
The multi-user, simultaneous access model is the preferred model for libraries. The model reflects user expectations and patterns of usage, and bring ebooks into line with other forms of digital content. However, there may still be restrictions on the number of simultaneous accesses permitted. The Open University report that access to their Safari collection is restricted to members of staff on-campus, as the limited concurrent model offered by Safari is unable to meet student demand [31]. Ebrary also use this model, and the Co-East/Loughborough University ebook project report that concurrent use is based on active user population, making the model too expensive for a large authority. These models were designed for libraries in the US, and suppliers are unfamiliar with public library authorities in the UK. Library project teams have had to negotiate with suppliers in order to adapt the models for use in the UK.

8. Ebooks suppliers serving the library sector

Digital publishing is a highly dynamic market, subject to mergers, take-overs and closures. In addition, the impact of mobile technologies and wireless access on public libraries is currently unknown. This information should therefore be regarded as offering a snapshop of activity at a particular time, rather than as a definitive list.

The following companies currently supply ebooks and e-audio titles to UK public libraries:


Ebrary is a US ebook supplier which operates through Coutts booksellers in the UK. Ebrary provide a multi-user, simultaneous access model for PCs via their Web site. Pricing is based on size and type of library for the entire collection. Ebrary provide a 'general interest' collection with a high percentage of UK publications suitable for UK public libraries.

From Autumn 2003 until Spring 2004 Essex libraries piloted the ebrary service. The service has been continued on the strength of this trial.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

The Gale Group launched an e-book service to provide reference materials to library customers in early 2004. Gale reference resources are provided in an individual title database format, enabling libraries to order single titles or a large collection. The database is searchable across the collection or within a single title. Articles can be viewed in HTML or PDF format. Hampshire Public Libraries are hoping to use Gale Virtual Reference Library as part of an ebooks pilot to be trialled in Co-South between April and September 2004.


netLibrary is an established supplier of ebooks to libraries, with 8,667 library customers at the end of 2003 - the majority of which are US academic libraries [32]. netLibrary negotiates directly with individual publishers on behalf of libraries for the supply of non-fiction content in digital format. The service includes: reporting mechanisms; usage statistics for collection development purposes; digital rights management, for copyright clearance, and records in MARC21 format. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames library service currently subscribes to netLibrary, in addition to content from Safari Technical books and Audible.com.


OverDrive is a US company supplying content to retailers and libraries. OverDrive offers popular fiction titles and other electronic content for use with PCs, PDAs, and mobile phones/Smartphones. The company will also be introducing digital audio books in Windows Media format in the future. Essex and Blackburn with Darwen libraries are currently piloting content from OverDrive's 'Digital Library Reserve' service (see section 10).

Safari Technical Books

Safari Technical Books Online, from ProQuest Information and Learning, supply information and technology books from two leading IT publishers: O' Reilly & Associates and The Pearson Technology Group. The London Borough of Richmond and London Borough of Hillingdon currently subscribe to Safari Technical. In Richmond they were introduced in March 2003. The service has proved popular, especially with staff in the council's IT department.

Online Reference

Online reference resources are not strictly ebooks as defined in this paper, but they have been included here as libraries are increasingly subscribing to online reference. Online reference resources are aggregated collections of reference books such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, guides, directories and gazetteers. Online reference resources can be cross-searched, and are updated at regular intervals. The main advantage for members of a subscribing library is that they have access to a large reference library at the point of need i.e. they do not have to travel to a library.

Xreferplus offers general reference and subject specific titles spanning 20 topics - all of which are cross-referenced, and content is primarily from UK publishers. Subscription options include a selection of 100 or 125 titles from the collection (Xreferplus100 and Xreferplus125) or the entire collection. UK customers include: Ealing, Westminster and the London Borough of Camden libraries, North East Lincolnshire Libraries and Museums Services, Cambridgeshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire County Councils, and five of the Co-South authorities (see section 11).

Oxford Reference Online (ORO) is published by Oxford University Press. The 'Core Collection' consists of an aggregated resource offering various search options e.g. search by subject or title, or across the full database. OUP are currently investigating the role their Premium Collection can play in this resource. The above are examples of content which is available through aggregator suppliers, but single reference titles can also be obtained through individual publishers.

9. Integrating and marketing ebooks

"Libraries cannot afford, especially with the cost of e-books services, to passively launch cutting edge technology, without careful, regular cultivation of users as well as enthusiastic members of staff". [33]

These conclusions were reached by the Loughborough University/Co-East ebooks project during ebooks pilot in Essex libraries. The London Borough of Richmond also acknowledge that financial support and staffing need to be addressed if a service is to be sustained [34]. Public library users may know little about ebooks and may be unaware of their existence or how to gain access to them.

Ebooks can be promoted through taster sessions, ebook clubs etc. Staff champions are important; staff who are enthusiastic and confident about ebook collections will actively promote the service, and help to ensure that users perceive ebooks to be a quality resource which complements print collections.

Collection development policies for ebook collections need to developed. They should include provision for the updating of Web pages, so that users see new titles displayed. Where ebooks and e-audio are delivered via portable devices, the ease of handling and transporting books should be emphasised. Specific groups of users can be targeted, including disabled and housebound people, children, commuters etc. Another way to increase take-up is to provide examples of situations in which ebooks can be used i.e. by adopting a task-centred approach. For example, a user might want to check a point of law or a medical fact; a child might need help with maths homework, or a family may wish to find out more about a country they are visiting on holiday; these examples can then be linked to relevant titles or specific collections.

It is important to integrate ebook collections into existing library systems and catalogues so that they are not isolated or seen as separate or hard to find. ebook records should ideally be integrated into existing library systems and catalogues. Many suppliers provide records in MARC 21 format for this purpose. Remote access also needs to be highlighted, as this will help to change users' perceptions of the library as simply a physical place offering print collections. They will come to see the library as a virtual space offering online access to a range of digital materials which can be accessed at anytime from anyplace.

10. Summary of the key projects (September 2002 to September 2004)

Co-East Consortium/Loughborough University with Essex Libraries

Co-East (a library consortium in the East of England) [34] and Loughborough University received funding in 2003 to evaluate different usage models for ebooks in Essex public libraries. Two delivery models chosen were: PDAs, and People's Network PCs, and two ebook suppliers: ebrary and Overdrive. Ebrary was chosen partly because of the 'general interest' collection it provides, but also because of the access/license model which is uncommon in the e-book market. Ebrary offers multi-user, simultaneous access, and subscriptions based on library size and type which for public libraries is based on the number of card holders. Overdrive was chosen because content includes up-to-date fiction, and the service can be delivered to a range of mobile technologies.

Twelve Pocket PC PDAs were purchased to host the OverDrive collection (over 200 titles from the 'Digital Library Reserve' collection) on a nine month trial. The PDAs were pre-loaded with fiction titles, and non-fiction titles (mainly in Adobe Acrobat format), and piloted with targeted groups of users in two library branches. The devices were also taken out to communities who use mobile libraries, such as the housebound and day care centres.

Content from ebrary and Overdrive is being made available throughout Essex both within libraries and via remote access. Essex is the only library to offer unmediated access to Overdrive titles directly to remote users. This is achieved via the Web, where users are able to download ebooks to any device at the point of need or use. The potential audience for ebooks is around 400,000, making it an ideal authority for ebook services. The authority has now decided to make e-books part of the standard library service provision to include services from Overdrive. Reports on the project, can be found on the project Web site [35].

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames libraries

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames was the first UK local authority to pilot ebooks. The service was launched in March 2003, with content from NetLibrary and Safari Technical Books. Richmond's initial netLibrary collection comprised 314 titles, mainly from US publishers, which were more suited to the academic community than public library users. When netLibrary introduced more appropriate content a few months later, Richmond selected content which included 'A' Level and GCSE revision guides, UK law books and popular medical titles. Initial usage of ebooks was high but this has since fallen. The Safari collection proved to be more popular than netLibrary, possibly because it is specialist which attracts users who have a specific task in mind.

Richmond's e-audio service is provided by Audible.com. MP3 Otis players are used to deliver audio books, which users can request and borrow using an online request form. Users' feedback revealed considerable enthusiasm for the service. Richmond also identified potential problem areas, such as the short battery life, and dissatisfaction from users who wanted to be able to download content onto personal audio devices.

Richmond is now addressing the issues arising from the feedback. Strategies to sustain and promote the service further have been identified, including: revising the marketing strategy to increase service take-up; the creation of a collection development policy; exploring future funding opportunities, and examining the likely impact of the new services on both stock development policy and the library service in general.

Blackburn with Darwen Libraries

Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Services also implemented ebooks with funding from the People's Network Excellence Fund. The project (named 'Totality') had two strands - one of which involved ebooks and e-audio services. [36] Portable devices were the platform of choice, and Blackburn purchased 40 iPAQ PDAs capable of supporting e-audio files and ebooks, plus a range of ICT learning courses.

Microsoft Reader format was chosen because it offered content suitable for Blackburn's key target group - young people from16-24 years. The aim was to develop a collection of best-selling fiction by contemporary authors, in genres likely to appeal to young people e.g. science fiction, fantasy and thriller.

The initial pilot and evaluation ended in September 2003, and Blackburn have since re-visited the ebooks service. The outcome of the review resulted in a decision to migrate to the online circulation model provided by Overdrive, which has been successfully piloted in Essex libraries as part of the Co-East consortium and Loughborough University project.

11. Consortial approaches to ebooks

The consortial approach to purchasing and developing ebook collections has been successful in the US, and libraries in the UK are also starting to see this as a way forward. One of the advantages of electronic content is that it is held on central servers, so the geographical location of a library is irrelevant. Libraries with a mutual interest in developing ebook collections can therefore purchase content jointly. Libraries can also purchase content through a legal entity, such as a consortium, in order to cut costs and pool staff expertise and effort. The NoWAL (the North West Academic Libraries) consortium is an example of the power of consortial purchasing. In 2004 NoWAL purchased 12,000 titles from netLibrary - making this the largest collection of ebooks in Europe [37].

Co-East is a consortium of ten public library authorities operating in the East of England, and it is co-managing the ebooks project described earlier. If the pilot project proves successful ebooks could become available throughout the Co-East consortium. Co-South is a consortium operating in the South of England [38]. Co-South has initiated many projects, including an ebooks pilot. The pilot (launched in July 2004) includes general collections e.g. netlibrary, ebrary, or Overdrive, as well as specialist collections e.g. Safari Technical, Gale or Oxford. The project focuses initially on ebook provision for Equal Access customers and teenagers.

12. Conclusions

Public libraries in the UK are in the first phase of implementing ebooks, and a number of projects have been funded to test the viability of ebook services. The projects are currently reviewing and evaluating the results of these pilots. Their findings and recommendations will be widely disseminated and used to inform future decision-making at local, regional and national level. UK public libraries are making a significant contribution to the literature, and are also experimenting with a variety of usage models - many of which are being tested for the first time in UK libraries. Together, these projects will provide a body of knowledge based on practical experience and experimentation; knowledge that is likely to benefit the wider library community.


  1. Lynch, C. The Battle to define the future of the book in the digital world. First Monday, volume 6, number 6 (June 2001) Available (6 July 2004): http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue6_6/lynch/
  2. Bristow, R in: Midgley, S. The end of books? The Guardian, 9 April 2002. Available (6 July 2004): http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/story/0,,681018,00.html
  3. Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Available (6 July 2004): http://www.mla.gov.uk/0,,681018,00.html
  4. Dearnley, J. McKnight,C. Connal, M. and Towle, G. The People's Network, Public Libraries and e-books: specification for baseline intelligence-gathering work. Department of Information Science, Loughborough University April 9 2002. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.mla.gov.uk/documents/re177rep.pdf
  5. Information on original Rocket ebook and similar devices. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.planetebook.com/
  6. The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003. (Statutory Instrument 2003/2498), Available (6 July 2004), http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032498.htm
  7. netlibrary. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.netlibrary.com/
  8. Adobe Reader 6.0. User Guide. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html
  9. Open ebook Forum (OeBF). Available (6 July 2004): http://www.openebook.org/
  10. DAISY consortium. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.daisy.org/ Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2002), Use and maintenance. Available (6 July 2004):http://www.loc.gov/nls/z3986/v100/
  11. Franklin eBookman. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.franklin.com/ebookman/
  12. Adobe Acrobat Reader: http://www.adobe.com/acrofamily/ Microsoft Reader: http://www.microsoft.com/reader/ Palm Reader: http://www.palmdigitalmedia.com/ MobiPocket: http://www.mobipocket.com/ All available (6 July 2004)
  13. Audible.com. Available (6 July 2004): http://audible.com/
  14. Microsoft Windows Media. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/
  15. Information on audio formats. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.teamcombooks.com/mp3handbook/ (see sample chapters from The MP3 and Internet Audio Handbook -your guide to the digital music revolution)
  16. JISC ebooks Working Group. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=wg_ebooks_home
  17. Taylor & Francis JISC - Online eBook Library. http://www.tandfjisc.com/Home/html/tandfjisc.asp
  18. ebrary:available to UK libraries through Coutts Library Services UK. Available (6 July 2004): http://www1.couttsinfo.com/uk/
  19. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.gale.com/world/
  20. netLibrary user group Web site (members section is password protected). Available (6 July 2004): http://oclcpica.org/?id=1206&ln=uk
  21. Books24x7. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.books24x7.com/
  22. Loughborough University and Co-East. Electronic books in public libraries: a feasibility study for developing usage models for Web-based and hardware-based electronic books. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/disresearch/e-booksinpublib/ Ebooks at Essex Libraries: http://essex.bookaisle.com/
  23. Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council library and information services. Available (6 July 2004): http://library.blackburnworld.com/
  24. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames - ebooks and e-audio service. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.richmond.gov.uk/depts/opps/eal/leisure/ libraries/pn/ebooks/eaudio/default.htm
  25. 'Childrens elibrary: the source of children's ebooks for schools and libraries'. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.childrenselibrary.com/
  26. Project Gutenberg. Available (6 July 2004): http://promo.net/pg/
  27. Free ebooks (Australian portal offering extensive lists of free ebooks from all parts of the world). Available (6 July 2004): http://www.e-book.com.au/freebooks.htm
  28. Berglund, Y. Morrison, A. Wilson, R. and Wynne, M. An investigation into Free eBooks. Draft report. Oxford Text Archive and the JISC, November 2003. Available (6 July 2004): http://ahds.ac.uk/litlangling/ebooks/free-e-books.pdf
  29. Amazon UK. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.amazon.co.uk/
  30. Penguin Books. ePenguin - books that click. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/packages/uk/epenguin/
  31. email from Claire Grace, Electronic resources, periodicals and acquisitions manager, the Open University Library, on 20 February 2004.
  32. Update supplied by netLibrary to members of the netLibrary User Group, December 2003.
  33. Electronic books in public libraries: a feasibility study for developing usage models for Web-based and hardware-based electronic books. Second quarter report, 20 November, 2003. p.5. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/disresearch/e-booksinpublib/Secondquarterlyreport.pdf
  34. Co-East. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.co-east.net/
  35. Co-East/Loughborough University Project reports: Available (6 July 2004): http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/disresearch/e-booksinpublib/index.html
  36. 'Totality'. Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Services project. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.bwdlibrarybeacon.org.uk/news/totality.html
  37. NoWAL. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.nowal.ac.uk/about/news.php
  38. Co-South. For further details of the work of this consortia's Reference Task Group (RTG) contact jane.weller@hants.gov.uk

Additional reading/resources

Garrod, P. ebooks in UK libraries: Where are we now? Ariadne, Issue 37, October 2003. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue37/garrod/
Garrod, P. Various presentations on ebooks. Available (6 July 2004) http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/public/present/
e-audio FAQs. Memorial Hall Public Library, Andover, Massachusetts. Available (6 July 2004): http://www.mhl.org/collections/eaudio/faqs.htm
KnowUK (online reference resource) Available (6 July 2004): http://www.knowuk.co.uk/ eBooks.com. Available (6 July 2004): http://ebooks.com/

Link to British Council website Link to Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) website Link to MLA website

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