Panel 13: E-books: Vendor Update and a Librarian’s Response (2015)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Moderator: Adán Griego
Rapporteur: Daniel Schoorl

Introductions for the speakers were made by Adán Griego (moderator); who also mentioned the influence of SALALM members on e-book pricing.

Sara Casalini – Casalini Libri (Italy)

Demonstrated how to access Casalini scholarly e-content at and described the single title acquisition model and approval selection plans. Both e-books and print books are visible in the Casalini database. Also a new full-text platform launched by Casalini is available at

Lluís Claret – Digitalia Publishing

Digitalia, founded in 2007, continues to grow and has launched new products in 2014, which includes new e-book readers, public library products, and a film library. Multiple databases are represented including many product lines with an emphasis on the humanities and social sciences but also adding more sciences. Digital acquired the publisher Calambur Editorial, which was established in 1991.

Fernando Genovart – Ventara García Cambeiro

Ventara continues to focus on academic libraries in the United States while the Argentine publishing industry wants to gain access to the North American market but perpetual access is still a great concern. Discussed disadvantages of e-resources as relating to high prices and ownership of materials and emphasized that collaboration is key to the survival of traditional book vendors and e-resource companies. Advocates for more trust between libraries/librarians, vendors, and digital publishers.

Leslie Lees – E-libros

Framed the talk as a paradigm shift in the information environment as relating to e-books and libraries. E-libros has 30,000 e-books available for subscription or purchase from Latin America and Spain. The ebrary platform is used by elibros and also García Cambeiro, which allows for simple management of content and includes various business models. Elibros has over 600 publisher partners and offers subscription models for different content at manageable units with varying costs. E-libros is now offering 12 subject collections and a newly added Religion and Philosophy collection, as well as a public library collection with 10,000 e-books. There are multiple purchase options including a rent-to-buy model.

Frank Smith – JSTOR

Demand driven acquisition allows for customized profiles and a seamless user experience. In partnership with OCLC, JSTOR offers MARC records and preservation of e-books and e-journals with Portico. JSTOR is currently working with around 80 publishers in Latin America, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru; and is in talks with another two dozen publishers in the region. Around 30% of all searches that end at JSTOR content start at JSTOR, so many users are coming in from other resources.

Wayne Bivens-Tatum – Princeton University (religion and philosophy bibliographer)

Improving the user experience and helping make acquisitions easier for libraries is key. Expressed opposition to artificial restrictions on any type of material but with e-books especially and would not advocate for buying single user licenses. Wants the market to be friction free; barriers to e-books can discourage use, this is especially the case in public libraries. E-book vendors must support academic libraries with interlibrary loan (ILL) and chapter level e-book lending should be widely available. Amazon has fostered the myth that e-books should be cheap but equal pricing for print and e-books is recommended. Sales for resources in the U.S. in 2014: 510 million e-books, 568 million hardcovers, and 542 million paperbacks. Notes that e-books are not diminishing traditional sales; consumers still want print.