Partnership boosts e-book acces
- By Eric Kulisch
- Jan 15, 2001
Partnerships between electronic book providers and developers of library
automation systems are making access to e-books easier for library patrons.
A recent deal involves Data Research Associates Inc. and netLibrary
Inc. The companies are working together to integrate netLibrary's eBooks
with DRA's online catalogs and resource management software.
Librarians use the catalogs and software to organize their collections
and acquire new material. Now they can click on links for eBooks and send
an electronic purchase order to the book distributor.
"We create machine-readable catalog records for all of our eBooks, and
we can flow them into the library automation systems" when a purchase is
made, netLibrary spokesman Brian Bell said.
Electronic books can benefit libraries because they save shelf space
and are immune to loss, theft or damage. And there are no worries about
late returns. When the circulation period is over, a patron loses timed
access to the book. Libraries usually limit books to one user.
Patrons can search the online catalog from home by accessing the library
network and using an authenticated code. If the book is on the "shelf,"
the patron can preview it and check it out.
With agreements such as this, netLibrary gains access to libraries without
developing an automated system of its own, while DRA cost-effectively adds
functionality to its system, Bell said.