Today and in Perpetuity: A Canadian Consortial Strategy for Owning and Hosting Ebooks

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The Journal of Academic Librarianship


E-Books, Consortia, Local Hosting, Ontario Council of University Libraries, OCUL


The Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) is a provincial consortium of twenty-one publicly funded universities in Ontario, Canada. A consortially-built platform called Scholars Portal is our digital library for archiving ebook content and making it available 24/7 to university students and faculty. An Ebooks Committee has responsibility for coordinating the consortial acquisition of ebooks, within the context of an Information Resources Committee. This paper discusses the consortial strategy and philosophy for ebook licensing in OCUL, which involve a focus on ownership and local loading rights, for dual purposes of preservation and immediate access. Key processes, tools, and accomplishments of this innovative service model are highlighted.