The Ebooks MN team is in the process of reviewing platform options for where our statewide collection of ebooks will be hosted. In fall of 2020, we conducted an environmental assessment of Ebooks MN with your help and reported our findings. Among those findings were the following assessment outcome statements that define the Ebooks MN program scope and goals:
- We resolve to improve access to the collection via the platform and promotion.
- We confirm our priority on barrier-free access via web reader, IP or geo-authentication, and reading without a personal account.
- We confirm our priority on unlimited, simultaneous access to the collection as a unique and defining value in the ebook environment.
- We resolve to place a new priority focus on popular materials for readers of all ages. We acknowledge that this focus is in tension with the unlimited, simultaneous licensing model, and will work within that tension.
- We confirm that the scope and intended audience of Ebooks MN is all types of libraries and all Minnesota readers, with focus on K12 classroom uses and on personal interest reading of both fiction and nonfiction for all ages.
These goals are instrumental as we consider the Ebooks MN platform. Our collection is currently hosted on Biblioboard; they helped launch Ebooks MN five years ago. It is our practice to re-assess our larger contracts every five years. As part of that process, we run a request for proposal (RFP), which in this case defines what we are looking for in an ebook platform and provider (incorporating the goals above and numerous other attributes), and invites vendors to propose their products.
Our thanks to the companies that proposed products. Two of them qualify to move forward in review. We invite the library community’s review of these platforms via our trial access and feedback survey.
Your feedback will inform our decision, along with input from the Ebooks MN Collection Development Team and State Library Services. We need to have a new contract in place on July 1, 2021. As we move toward that date, we’ll continue to communicate about the selection process and actions, if any, for you to take. Thank you for using Ebooks MN and for providing your input about the program.