A New Model for Procuring e-Books for the Virtual Learning Environment
Author: David Ball, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom
The paper first explores the definition, characteristics and functionality of virtual learning environments (VLEs), the fundamental building blocks of future learning architecture, which will have a profound effect on student and staff expectations of universities and libraries.
It then examines briefly the general role and influence of purchasing consortia in procuring materials for exploitation through VLEs. The majority of e-resources bought by libraries have been e-journals; VLEs will bring great demand for e-books to support learning.
The main part of the paper discusses in detail the recent innovative tender for e-books for UK universities. Focusing on VLEs, the aims of the tender were to provide agreements that:
- were innovative in terms of business models giving value for money;
- were flexible, exploited the electronic medium in terms of granularity and multi-user access;
- focused on users’ needs rather than libraries’ requirements;
- enabled collaboration with vendors/publishers for the addition of library-defined content
The lessons of the innovative requirement to build subject collections defined by academics and librarians, and to provide electronic access to text-books with high-volume sales, will be drawn from the experience in the medical sphere, the Nursing Core Content Initiative.
Participants will gain knowledge of:
- innovative examples of collaboration with vendors/publishers and through consortia;
- current business models for procuring e-books in the medical field;
- procurement of learning resources for VLEs
About the author
David Ball is University Librarian and Acting Head of Academic Services at Bournemouth University. He is a leading practitioner in the field of library purchasing, chairing the national group Procurement for Libraries and the Libraries Group of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium, and has led innovative tenders for e-books, books and journals. He has led a number of research and digitisation projects, such as the NOF-funded Dorset Coast Digital Archive, and is a Board Member of the South West Museums Libraries and Archives Council. Previous experience includes the private sector, as information manager for a major newspaper publisher, where he was responsible for transforming a cuttings library into a full-text electronic archive. He has a strong publishing record; a major book, Managing Suppliers and Partners for the Academic Library, was published by Facet in May 2005.
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