Rolling out Ebooks at NUI Galway’
Neil O’Brien
Collection Management Librarian
NUI Galway
James Hardiman Library
Ebooks at NUI Galway
• Officially our website states that we have collections
1.5 million books
 29,000 e-books
40,000 journal titles (available in print and online)
Access to more than 200 specialist databases
• The official recording of e-books falls well short of true total
which now numbers well in excess of 100,000+
E Books at NUI Galway
• Early English Books Online (EBBO): which contains digital facsimiles images of virtually every work print in
England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America from 1473 to
 encompasses over 100,000 titles
• 18th Century Collections Online (ECCO) (Cengage): total online library of 136,000 titles
 consists of over 155,000 volumes of books published in English
speaking countries between 1701 and 1800
Recent E Books Aggregated purchases
We have also purchased bundles of Ebooks directly from publishers
 Springer Humanities, social Sciences and Law Springer in 2009 which hosts 700 ebooks
 Springer Biomedical & Life Sciences Collection (2009) which hosts 633 ebooks
 Psychbooks in 2009
 Law module of Oxford Scholarship Online (2009) consisting of over a 1000 e-books
 Oxford Medicine Online (2010) consisting of 78 titles
 Oxford Scholarship Online (2009) consisting of 4084 titles
 Spie Ebooks (2008) 120
 Eurocodes Ebook Collection (2010) ICE 12
 ICE Construction Materials Collection (2010) 37
 Ovid (2009) 250+
Origins of Ebooks at NUI Galway
Began in the early 2000s
Major problems with electronic books at the beginning of the 2000s was difficulty
purchasing single items as a ‘once off purchase’
Publishers tended to offer bundles of books rather than single items
Now there are various differing models: available to purchase outright (eg Springer Biomedical & Life Sciences
Collection; ICE Construction Materials Collection; Wiley ebooks (you must
purchase a minimum of 20 books as part of a bundle) etc )
 subscription model with an annual recurring fee (eg Safari; Oxford
Scholarship Online; Spie Ebooks; Oxford Medicine Online etc)
 once off purchase model inclusive of some kind of platform maintenance fee
(eg ECCO and EBBO etc)
Origins of Ebooks at NUI Galway
• Prior to 2008 various models did not offer much attraction to
us to in developing our e-books collections
• most of the E-books we had prior to 2008 were delivered to us
 part of consortial deals from IReL
 purchased as part of scholarly collections of interest to
researchers and students alike
2001 Librarians of the Conference of the Heads of Irish Universities (CHIU) established a
working group to assess the potential of the E Book market for Universities
 All the Universities were represented
 Membership varied between acquisitions Librarians and electronic resources Librarians
 The key findings of the Group in its April 2002 report were that the market was in a
state of flux
 The biggest player on the market at the time, Netlibrary, had just been sold to OCLC
 Platforms were also at development stage and uptake was inhibited by poor on-screen
presentation and limited availability of titles
 Licencing models varied and more often than not they were more concerned with
protecting publisher interests than supporting collaborative library purchases
See CHIU Librarians E-Books Working Group final Project Report
• In the second report of the Group in June 2003 Safari Tech
Books Online emerged as the unanimous choice for a pilot
project in the Universities
• Key factors in choosing Safari included focused coverage,
clear interface and an innovative subscription model
• A 12-month subscription was piloted at each university and
following a wide consultation and marketing campaign it
proved highly popular with users in business and IT subjects
 For the times the subscription model offered was progressive, but by
today’s standard it is extremely rudimentary
 The purchase model is for “slots” rather than titles, with each book
being assigned any value from half to three slots according to factors
such as its date of publication, topicality and printed cost
 Unlimited concurrent user access was not on offer
 real plus in the subscription model was the opportunity to swap any
title after 30 days
 This feature was unique to Safari and offered the flexibility to delete
low-use titles in favour of replacements likely to be in higher demand
in an academic year
 was no option to purchase titles outright or to retain access to
subscribed editions beyond the subscription period
• Usage statistics for Dublin City University showed over 24,000 hits
between September 2003 and early May 2004
• NUI Galway initially purchased a three-user licence for 54 titles at a cost
of €2,610 annually. The cost per title was therefore €48.33
• Concurrent with rolling out the service the Libraries surveyed and
marketed the platform to users and this delivered great results.
Respondents typically used Safari weekly (25.8%) or monthly (40.9%).
• However the price for 50 slots on Safari bloated somewhat from €2,610 in
2003 to €3857.60 in 2006
Large variance in the number of titles being consulted
 By 2007 the vast majority of titles of the 50 slots had less then 2 hits
 Only 5 titles had more than 30 hits
 teach yourself Java in 24 hours had 299 hits, and teach yourself Java in 21
days had 278 hits.
 Whilst the overall total number of hits in 2007 increased to 1483, but these
two ebooks alone constitued 39% of total hits
 whilst there was an overall cost per download of €2.60, apparently good value
for money, just five books on Safari were being heavily used
 why not just cancel safari and purchase the five good performers as a single
once off purchase on another platform like Netlibrary or Dawsonera or
• First major aggregator platform to come on stream in the early
• In 2008 we decided to use Netlibrary to source high demand
titles, particularly titles recommended for desk reserve
• Initially purchased 18 Netlibrary books in total
• Our Netlibrary collection compares very unfavourably with
other institutions.
• Penrose Library at the University of Denver had access to
17,777 NetLibrary titles by September 2005
Why delay?
• The delay moving towards aggregators was the very complex
Digitial Rights Management
• Platform issues were also a problem
• There appeared to be no uniform model which suited out
• At the end of 2008 we became interested in Dawsonera,
MyIlibrary and Ebary
First Aggregator we used after Netlibrary
 attractive because it was not a subscription service
 in 2008 it hosted over 70,000 titles and growing
 you could pay a one off price for an ebook, the price being set by the publishers and
subject to an additional once off hosting fee of 12%
 once purchased you owned the title in perpetuity with no annual platform charge, and
there was no minimum order required
A purchased ebook has a set amount of credits, usually 325 or 400, for a twelve month
period which reset annually
A credit is defined as a 24 hour access period per user and there is no other cap on multiconcurrent users other than the number of credits left in the 12 month period
notification sent to my email directly to alert me of any title which had run out of credits and
we had the option to buy a second copy of the E book with 325 or 400 credits
There were problems: Dawson did not allow IP authentication, which is our favoured method of rollout across
the network
 Users had to sign in to the platfrom via EasyProxy, even when working on the campus
IP range
 This caused some technical problems as we had to get a tokenkey off Dawson to update
our Easyproxy settings. However there have been no technical problems since that date
 Easyproxy in many respects is the genius of the platform in that it ensures that all users
comply exactly with standard UK copyright laws on copying text (5%)
 Users sign in with an individual account unique to themselves and this username and
password is the same as the profile our users employ when accessing services off
campus. As a result Dawson is able to monitor users habits exactly
It is overall a good model but the restrictive copying and pasting and printing has hampered
growing the collection with Dawsonera
Slow uptake
• Between 2008 and 2010 we purchased 53 titles on Dawsonera, and tried to
find key desk reserve texts on the platform, however very few could be
• In 2007-2008 the University of Leeds was spending £79,806 on e-books
out of a total material budget of £5,349,119, and this was the equivalent of
about 1.4% of expenditure
• national average in UK Universities for e-books was then around 8-9%.
• Between August 2009-March 2010, Leeds purchased 538 DawsonERA ebooks and 281 MyiLibrary e-books
• Our uptake was still modest in comparison in a similar period
• In 2010 we began to use Swetwise to purchase Myilibrary and
Ebary electronic books
• Excellent and easy service to use
• However the usual problems arose with Swets in regard to
delivery of access url and invoicing was rather chaotic
• This is in the process of being addressed
• Swets, I am assured, propose to embed the url so that it can be
copied at the point of ordering. Dawsonera already do this,
and mostly Myilibrary’s ordering platform, OASIS does also
• Because of access and billing issues we moved away from
Swetswise because: Dawsonera not currently included
 Billing and url issues
 We found OASIS to be a good system
 Currently Swetswise only used for Ebary, but we only use
this platform as a third choice if an item is not hosted on
Myilibrary first or Dawsonera second.
Like Ebary there is a hosting platform fee payable annual
Unlike Ebary it is set to €500 and does not change as the number of hosted titles increase
Unlike Dawson, which works on a system of multiuser credits, Myilibrary has concurrent user restrictions,
with a choice between single and three user options
The Single User license was designed for circumstances where a Library would usually only buy one copy
of the book in print, and as such was a low usage title; or else where the title was required by a lecturer for
their own use
The Multi User licence is aimed at three concurrent users, however unlike many platforms, Myilibrary
does not impose any turnaways if more than three users attempt to access a book at the same time
License restrictions on concurrent users was the downside, however Myilibrary appears to offer a more
adaptible approach to printing and copying text
If a user approaches the limits, they will receive a warning.
Using the platform I found the process for printing and copying text was also more intuitive and the pages
flowed in a smoother manner to Dawsonera
Access is rolled out by IP authentication and Coutts use a flow control monitor to measure the number of
pages that a user is turning
• In the case of the Multi User licence the limit is based on the assumption
that only three users are viewing the book, so if twelve users view the
book at the same time, the flow control will be triggered four times sooner
• The exact number of pages that the flow control will allow to be turned is
varied on a daily basis to avoid a user identifying the limit and introducing
a print spider to work within this limit
• The exact number of pages that the flow control will allow to be turned is
varied on a daily basis to avoid a user identifying the limit and introducing
a print spider to work within this limit
• It is now our favoured primary platform for individually purchased
Ebooks, with Dawsonera second and Ebary third
Short loans and Reading list projects
Ebooks books have exponentially taken off
We now stipulate that all books requested for 3 day or 24 hour distribution be
automatically searched on the aggregator platforms based on our hierarchy, and if
available they are purchased
Therefore we have integrated ebook purchasing into the normal acquisitions work
flow for short term loans
We also have a reading list project underway and all items on reading lists are
automatically searched for as an ebook
In 2010 we purchased 20 ebooks on MyIlibrary, 1 on ebary, 57 on Dawsonera
In 2011 we have purchase 67 ebooks directly from Myilibrary; 53 from
Dawsonera and 59 on Swetswise (mostly from Myilibrary)
179 in total and still very small, however staff are still getting to grips with
incorporating e into the work flow and it is hoped to greatly increase the drive
E – Books the future?
Statistically they seem to perform well
No stats for NUI Galway as yet
National e-Books Observatory (NeBO) Report concludes: Participants reported a 6.7% drop in circulation for the 36 course text e-books
piloted across 127 UK institutions
 A variety of platforms used (Ovid, Myilibrary etc)
 business and management students were the most likely group to have used
any e-book
 69% of business students had used e-books against 68% for engineering and
63% for media studies
 Overall, the NeBO generated nearly three quarters of a million of page views
for the 26 titles on MyiLibrary which essentially meant that nearly 46.7% of
students in higher education used the platform.
• overall, NeBO generated nearly three quarters of a million of page views
for the 26 titles on MyiLibrary which essentially meant that nearly 46.7%
of students in higher education used the platform
• the main lesson learnt was that if e-textbooks are of good quality, lecturers
recommend and reference them in their e-reading lists and if they are made
widely and easily accessible they will be used in large numbers
• multiple routes to e-books confused students and the library
catalogue/OPAC was the main means of accessing e-textbooks – urls
should probably be dropped into the VLE where the texts are Core
• E-textbooks were mainly used for obtaining snippets of information and
fact finding
• there appeared to be very little extended reading of e-books

Rolling out e-Books at NUI Galway