E-book Value Statement

Texas A&M University (TAMU) Libraries are committed to providing content to their primary users in the formats that best support learning, teaching and research activities. Access to e-book content depends largely on how publishers and e-book vendors adapt to the new digital environment. TAMU Libraries adopted core values and preferred functionalities for e-books that e-book publishers and vendors should implement and offer to the library community.  North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries, and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Library have statements that were used as models for this e-book value statement.


  • Must provide full-level bibliographic records that meet current national cataloging standards and interoperability to enable users to identify and access e-books in the library catalogs, in the subject-specific LibGuides, or platforms preferred by library users.
  • Must provide access to e-content through IP authentication and/or EZProxy to authorized users such as current faculty; staff and students; walk-in users; visiting scholars and researchers; and remote users. Must seek access support for alumni users.
  • Must provide ability to coordinate discovery applications such as Primo, SFX, etc.
  • Must provide ADA compliance according to state and federal laws.

Research and Instruction

  • License must allow fair use under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act and other similar provisions of the copyright laws or other intellectual property laws in the United States or in other countries.
  • Library users must be able to navigate/browse, search, and preview content easily and efficiently.
  • Library users must be able to highlight text and take notes that can be accessed at a later date.
  • Library users must be able to save, print, and download chapters (at very least) of content.
  • Library users should be able to download entire book to an e-reader (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.) for convenient reading.
  • Purchased and/or subscribed content must be accessible on various platforms and devices, and must be delivered in standard formats compatible with emerging technologies (i.e. EPUB).
  • Libraries must be able to incorporate persistent URLs on intranet and internet, electronic reserves, course packs, and course management systems.
  • Publishers must maintain consistency of content for both, print and e-book versions.

Digital Rights Management

  • Publishers must provide unlimited access to all e-book content to simultaneous multiple users. Vendors and librarians must work with publishers to encourage unlimited access to e-book content previously acquired under single user option.
  • Publishers and aggregators must allow expansion of interlibrary loan to include the entire book.
  • Publishers and aggregators must allow transmittal to third party colleague of an electronic copy of minimal, insubstantial amounts for personal, scholarly, or educational use.
  • Libraries must seek elimination of limits imposed on printing, copying, saving, and downloading capabilities.
  • Publishers must invest in long-term digital preservation solutions such as LOCKSS, CLOCKSS, and Portico, or enable libraries to archive e-content.
  • Publishers and aggregators must notify libraries directly (i.e. via email) when content is removed from licensed materials.
  • Publishers and aggregators must send alerts when new e-books have been added to or removed from existing collections.

Sustainable and Fair Business Models

  • Publishers and aggregators must provide simultaneous format availability of frontlist titles (print and e-book).
  • Publishers and aggregators must offer purchased e-content versus subscribed e-content.
  • Publishers must provide perpetual access to purchased content at no cost or for a reasonable maintenance/access fee.
  • Publishers and aggregators must dismantle bundled e-book packages and develop reasonable, flexible pricing models, which allow for the purchase of title-by-title or library designed collections.
  • Publishers and aggregators must provide timely (i.e. weekly) COUNTER-compliant usage statistics.
  • Publishers and aggregators must protect library users’ privacy according to state and federal privacy laws, and the ALA Code of Ethics.