The provision of eBook content by public libraries is not surprisingly proving to be a challenge in many countries around the globe. Over the past 18 months there has been a flurry of activity by library associations drafting issue papers on eLending, many of which have been documented in the eLending Portal. The latest issues paper to be released, E-Book Issues Paper, authored by the LIANZA Standing Committee on Digital Content and e-lending is certainly worth reading. This concise paper succinctly articulates the current eLending landscape in New Zealand across the various library sectors. The same themes appear; content availability, access models, content pricing, discoverability/integration and format compatibility.
New Zealand public libraries have certainly been proactive in providing access to eBook content to their local communities with a staggering 92% of local authority libraries using one of a handful of commercial eBook aggregator platforms. The majority of NZ public libraries (79%) participate in consortia schemes which offer shared collections to library members.
It is also worth noting that a whole of country approach to eBook delivery is currently being investigated via a collaboration of NZ peak industry bodies.