The first UK e-lending trial involving major UK publishers has been positive, according toSociety of Chief Librarians (SCL) president Janene Cox, because “people who loan books, buy books”.
Cox was speaking at a panel on digital projects in public libraries at the London Book Fair this week.
One thousand titles are currently available to borrow digitally under the scheme, which launched on 3rd March. Publishers can also upload marketing material—such as author interviews and posters— for libraries to use in local publicity campaigns.
The trial also saw borrowed e-books yield click-through purchases. In Derbyshire, for example, 20 e-books were bought from 464 loans in the first monitoring period—many of which were purchased while the reader was part of the way through the e-book.
“Working in partnership has to have benefits for libraries and publishers; it has to be about creating an audience for reading,” said Cox. “Publishers should be working with libraries to make their titles as accessible as possible.”
Cox added that the SCL believes Public Lending Right should cover all e-books, not only those loaned on libraries’ physical premises, as government advice has indicated.