Friday, March 6, 2015

E-book ILL and Occam's Reader

*Kenny Ketner and Ryan Litsey will be the keynote speakers at the annual ILL meeting to held April 1, 2015, at the Pyle Center in Madison. For more meeting information, please see:  Registration Information and the ILL Meeting Agenda .

Guest Post Written by:

Ryan Litsey
Occam's Reader Logo
Image courtesy of Occam's Reader
Assistant Librarian, Document Delivery
Texas Tech University Libraries
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Kenny Ketner
Software Development Manager
Texas Tech University Libraries
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

Libraries stand on the precipice of a historic shift. The technology of how we do what we do is changing daily. We all must think about the services we offer and how we might continue to provide them in the digital age.

One of the oldest core library services is interlibrary loan (ILL). However, in the changing environment of electronic articles and now electronic books, how can we maintain the tradition of interlibrary loan with no physical object to loan?  In order to answer that question, we must envision a possible solution, one that is easy to implement and does not cripple library budgets.

The famous principle of Ockham’s razor posits that, all things being equal, a simpler explanation is better than a more complex one. It is with that vision of simplicity that we set out to design Occam's Reader, the first library-developed method to lend eBooks via traditional interlibrary loan.

Occam's Reader is an important milestone for libraries in the digital age.  For the first time, libraries have developed a tool that allows us to approach eBook publishers in the spirit of cooperation.  Texas Tech University, The University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) worked with the publisher Springer to make easy, inexpensive, and fair eBook ILL a reality.  If this collaborative approach works with ILL, why not apply it to other core library services as well?

With the values of simplicity and collaboration in mind, we are excited to talk at the Annual ILL meeting about the potential of Occam's Reader, the future of eBook ILL, and the implications for library development in the years to come.

Guest Post Written by:

Ryan Litsey, Assistant Librarian, Document Delivery, Texas Tech University Libraries, and 
Kenny Ketner, Software Development Manager, Texas Tech University Libraries, Lubbock, TX