ARTICLE: Utilizing E-books to Enhance Digital Library Offerings
- This article involves some of the results and developments that have come
about because of the acquisition of NetLibrary by OCLC, owner of the
WorldCat international online database and the FirstSearch databank of
periodical abstracting and other databases.
Utilizing E-books to Enhance Digital Library Offerings
Shirley Hyatt and Lynn Silipigni Connaway describe the rationale and
background of OCLC's acquisition of netLibrary, the information
environment that is being pursued, and the resulting benefits that
libraries may experience.
On January 24, 2002, OCLC Online Computer Library Center acquired
netLibrary, a major electronic books (e-books) company. OCLC's acquisition
includes the e-book Division of netLibrary, which OCLC has integrated as a
division of OCLC, and netLibrary's MetaText eTextbook Division, which has
become a for-profit subsidiary of OCLC. This article describes the
rationale and background of the acquisition, the overall vision of the
information environment that is being pursued, and the benefits that
libraries may experience as a result.
netLibrary has been dedicated to providing electronic book services to the
library community since it began operations in July 1998. It is committed
to encouraging the creation of the electronic version of the monograph,
and to serving these up through libraries. netLibrary provides academic,
public, special/corporate and school libraries with solutions for the
purchase, management, and use of digital learning content, specifically
e-books. It digitized its first e-book in January 1999, launched its Web
site in March 1999 and sold its first title in May 1999. Today,
netLibrary's e-book offering is the most broadly adopted in the market,
representing the content of 315 publishers and serving more than 6,700
libraries, with a catalog of more than 41,000 titles.
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