Pilot schemes for e-lending could begin this summer

Pilot schemes for e-lending could begin this summer

Library e-lending pilot schemes could be in place by the end of the summer, following the release of the Sieghart Review last week.

One of the recommendations of the government’s review into public library e-lending was that a number of schemes should be set up to gather evidence on e-lending patterns to allow all parties to move forward.

Janene Cox, president of the Society of Chief Librarians, said that relevant groups were aiming to have meetings about the pilots this month before establishing them in libraries later in the year. Cox said: “The constituent bodies met last week and agreed to a further meeting this month, to make clear what each group wanted to find out, and how to best model the pilots to achieve that. We’re looking at holding different pilots at different times to take into account changing patterns of lending over the summer, for example. I think lots of library authorities will be keen to take part, and will bid to participate in one that is appropriate for them.”

Cox added that she hoped some pilots could begin in late summer.

Stephen Page, publisher and chief executive of Faber, sat on the review panel alongside Cox. He said: “The recommendation that there should be more research and evidence-gathering was a very sensible one, as we are still in the early days of the digital market. Faber would be very supportive of any pilots attempting to understand current conditions and find a balance that works for publishers and libraries, and I am in conversations with the SCL and the Publishers Association to see how to take that forward.”

Page added: “I think lots of publishers will be interested in learning more about this, and considering their own research rather than waiting for it to come from elsewhere.”