Abstract: ILL for e-books – experiences since 4 years

Dr. Berthold Gillitzer, Bavarian State Library

Currently ILL is sometimes regarded as an old fashioned standard service of the libraries which gets obsolete through the plenty of information available on internet. In contrast to that opinion I want to emphasize that ILL regarded as a network of the libraries for sharing scarce resources is a very modern concept.

Due to the lack of contract clauses or restrictions within existing contract clauses of licensed e-journals or licensed e-books in the last years arose a permanently growing gap within ILL. More and more documents are not available via ILL and in consequence they aren’t available at all for users needing them urgently.

For this reason the Bavarian State Library and the Bavarian Library Network developed since 2013 a concept for a solution for this problem. Server for the storing of license information and provision of the respective documents are part of this project as well as the development of appropriate license agreements. While a solution for e-journals is successfully up and running and more than 30% of copies from articles within ILL are provided from e-journals at least in Bavaria e-books seem to be a hard nut to crack. There aren’t any license clauses for ILL at all for e-books in ILL and the modalities for delivery and respective license conditions are controversial between libraries and publisher.

The Bavarian State Library started a project to solve this problems together with the Bavarian Library Network. A pilot service is running successfully since July 2015 and five publisher are cooperating for the test of the conception and first experiences with e-books and ILL. Nevertheless publisher and holder of rights are sceptical and much work is to be done until ILL for e media becomes a regular part of the services of libraries. Perhaps international cooperation could be a key to convince the big publisher that a solution for this problems is necessary. The pilot period over the last 4 years shows that the technical solution and the conception is basically successful.