Duke library users and Duke alumni will soon have a trove of new ebooks at their fingertips.
Approximately 1,500 scholarly monographs by Oxford University Press and its affiliates are now available as ebooks in the library catalog, with approximately 9,000 more to come later this year.
The development is part of an innovative deal brokered by Oxford University Press and the Triangle Research Libraries Network consortium (TRLN).
The ebooks are fully searchable and allow for unlimited user access, so that multiple people can read them at the same time. In addition, one shared print copy of each humanities and social science title will be held at Duke’s Library Service Center and be available for use by all TRLN institutions (Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NCSU, NCCU).
“The partnership allows for expanded access to scholarly material, with less overlap, at a lower cost to each TRLN institution,” says Aisha Harvey, Head of Collection Development at Duke University Libraries. “It also gives researchers the option of using a print or digital copy, depending on their personal preference.”
This access agreement is one of the first of its kind to allow shared e-book access among cooperating libraries. Another noteworthy aspect is that the ebooks will be fully available to all Duke alumni. Most ebooks in the Libraries’ collection are not accessible to alumni, due to copyright and licensing restrictions. But the new arrangement expands the Libraries’ offerings to Duke graduates. (A variety of library services and resources are already available for free to all Duke alumni, including some of our most popular databases.)
“The Triangle Research Libraries Network has a very long history of successful collaboration in building print collections,” said Sarah Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chair of the TRLN Executive Committee.
Last year, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TRLN sponsored a “Beyond Print” summit to explore opportunities and challenges associated with ebook acquisitions and shared institutional access. The ebook deal with Oxford University Press is one outcome of those discussions.
“The agreement with OUP offers a welcome opportunity to experiment with approaches discussed at the summit, provide high-quality content to our users, and learn more about how students and researchers want to access scholarly output in a dual electronic-plus-print environment,” said Michalak.
Ebook and ejournal usage continues to rise in academic libraries across the country. In 2011, the Duke Libraries adopted an ebook advocacy model in order to guide collection decisions and advocate to publishers on behalf of researchers’ needs.