ReadersFirst Group Convenes Exploratory Meeting with e-Content Vendors Vendors

Libraries agree on next steps to facilitate better e-book experiences for library users

The Leadership Group of the ReadersFirst initiative met with 30 representatives from organizations that license e-content and supply technical systems to libraries on January 28 at The Seattle Public Library, following the ALA Midwinter Conference. Members of ReadersFirst – an international coalition of over 225 library systems cooperating to improve the electronic lending experience – highlighted their concerns around issues with e-book access, which make it difficult for library users to quickly and easily find and check out e-books or read them on multiple devices. Representatives from several library systems facilitated the event and participated in the conversation, including Brooklyn Public Library, Douglas County Libraries, Los Angeles Public Library, The New York Public Library, Ottawa Public Library (Canada), Queens Library, Salt Lake City Public Library, The Seattle Public Library, and Vancouver Public Library (Canada). Participating vendor organizations included Axis 360, OverDrive, and SirsiDynix. The group discussed the four primary ReadersFirst principles that members hope will advance a more seamless and less complicated electronic lending experience. The details of the principles can be found at “We look forward to continuing conversations about ReadersFirst with library vendors, where constructive dialogue will help us work together towards great e-book experiences for our readers,” said Christina de Castell from Vancouver Public Library on behalf of the ReadersFirst Leadership Group. Vendors were invited to describe steps they could take to respond to these principles and what key obstacles they might face. Andrew Pace, Executive Director of Networked Library Services at OCLC remarked, “There aren’t enough opportunities like this in the library field, so it was refreshing to engage directly with libraries around requirements that will improve the entire library, publisher, service provider ecosystem. We’ve found at OCLC that this leads to the best overall service delivery.” Many vendor representatives in attendance contributed to the conversation, discussing their efforts to build feature-rich products, and noting that these experiments drive innovation and market growth. Vendors also highlighted that terms and conditions set by content providers makes it difficult to provide single solutions. During the roundtable, member libraries were asked by vendors to prioritize their development requirements, work with vendors to establish measurable outcomes related to digital content integration, and vote “with their wallets” to purchase the best product available as a way to advance ReadersFirst’s goals At the request of the vendors, the Leadership Group will set priorities about desired changes they wish vendors to act on. The group will also publish a document in the coming weeks that will apply the ReadersFirst principles to vendor products in an effort to continue the conversation with the e-content distributors.

### About ReadersFirst: ReadersFirst is an international group representing over 225 library systems and 182 million readers. ReadersFirst was founded to bring together libraries that are interested in improving e-book access for public library users.

The Leadership Group Roster as of 2/1/13:

Amy Calhoun, Sacramento Public Library
Art Brodsky, Montgomery County Public Libraries
Carol Frost, Santa Clara County Library
Christina de Castell, Vancouver Public Library
Christopher Platt, New York Public Library
Jamie LaRue, Douglas County Libraries
Jean Hofacket, Alameda County Library
Jennifer Pearson, OCLC
Jennifer Stirling, Ottawa Public Library
Jim Loter, Seattle Public Library
Julianne Hancock, Salt Lake City Public Library
Kelvin Watson, Queens Library
Ken Roberts, CULC
Kim Fender, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Mana Tominaga, San José Public Library
Marylouise Daneri, Montgomery County Public Libraries
Megan Wong, Santa Clara County Library
Melissa A. DeWild, Kent District Library
Micah May, New York Public Library
Michael Ciccone, Hamilton Public Library
Michael Colford, Boston Public Library
Michael Santangelo, Brooklyn Public Library
Parker Hamilton, Montgomery County Public Libraries
Paul Whitney, IFLA
Peggy Murphy, Los Angeles Public Library
Sari Feldman, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Stuart Hamilton, IFLA
Susan Broman, County of Los Angeles Public Library
Tom Galante, Queens Library