Client: COSLA | Project: eBook Feasibility Study Final Report
Version 1.0 | June 30, 2010
In the all o 2009, the Chie Ocers o State Library Agencies (COSLA) began an internalconversation about eBooks. What will they mean to the uture o libraries, especially publiclibraries? Will these institutions be able to turn another digital ormat to its advantage, asthey have with audiobooks? Or is it dierent this time? COSLA members wanted to armthemselves or action, instead o waiting to see how commercial orces would impact popularreading materials and the public library’s central role in providing them.COSLA initially wondered whether they could orce a disruption in the eBook marketplaceby creating their own eBook reader, designed especially or people who borrow rom publiclibraries. To discover whether this was easible, COSLA ormed a task orce and approachedthe design strategy and research consultancy Pinpoint Logic. Together, we crated a study tond out.In the course o the research, we talked to library leaders and industry experts who raisedcritical issues that shaped our thinking. We changed direction as we learned more, movingaway rom product design and toward areas o opportunity or public libraries and eBooks.In this report, you’ll read concerns and ideas about access and ease o use or library eBooks,library purchasing models, shiting relationships with vendors and publishers, cost andselection, copyright and air use, and how to make the public library’s voice heard as eBookschange how people read or leisure and learning. We ound new roles or public libraries andways that COSLA could help provide leadership.The research is cumulative, so the second part o the report builds on the rst and nalizesour thinking. We hope those who love and serve public libraries everywhere will ndinspiration in this work, especially the scenarios or action. There are many paths COSLA andits partners can take together to make eBooks work or public libraries, ensuring these much-loved institutions continue to delight and engage the people they serve.