EBSCO buys NetLibrary

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EBSCO is buying the OCLC NetLibrary Division, as well as the rights to license some vendor-owned databases currently available through the OCLC FirstSearch service. The purchase includes the NetLibrary eBook and eAudiobook platform as well as operations and infrastructure in Boulder, Colorado.

NetLibrary eBook content and eAudiobook subscriptions will continue to be available on the NetLibrary platform. EBSCO also plans to provide access to the NetLibrary eBook content on its EBSCOhost platform. NetLibrary eBooks will also continue to be discoverable through WorldCat.org.

'As e-books become a mainstream part of libraries’ electronic collections, the time is right to provide new opportunities for libraries to integrate the acquisition and delivery of their e-books, databases and eJournals,' said Jay Jordan, OCLC president and CEO. 'This agreement with EBSCO will provide e-book users worldwide with increased avenues to discover their library’s growing e-book collection.'

OCLC purchased the assets of NetLibrary in 2002 from bankruptcy in order to protect libraries’ investments in e-book content purchases, and to explore the potential of e-books for libraries during the early days of e-content and the web. OCLC says that it has partnered with EBSCO to ensure even greater access to the important e-book resources of libraries.

OCLC is still protecting libraries’ investment in NetLibrary eBooks, says the organisation. All NetLibrary eBooks purchased by libraries will be placed in a dark archive—the OCLC eBook Archive—at least through March 2013.

EBSCO will provide OCLC MARC records for applicable e-books to libraries free of charge and will ensure continued visibility of these important collections in WorldCat.org. EBSCO plans to maintain the e-book content purchase model and will explore e-book subscription options. The Recorded Books eAudiobooks service will continue as EBSCO and Recorded Books will partner to provide access and new eAudiobook content on the NetLibrary platform.

EBSCO has also purchased the rights to license certain vendor-owned databases that are currently available via FirstSearch. Existing FirstSearch subscribers will continue to receive access to these databases on the FirstSearch service through the end of their current subscriptions.