Ebook Acquisitions: Methods, Management, and Workflows

Ebook providers offer a wide variety of options for obtaining and providing access to ebooks for academic libraries. How do you sort through the available options to determine what methods would be a good fit for your own institutional needs? Lease vs. ownership, internal workflows and acquisition methods, managing and promoting use after the titles are acquired are only a few of the decisions that are part of the acquisition process. Discussion topics included:

  • Acquisition method: approvals plans, firms orders, patron or demand driven acquisitions as well as single title ordering vs. ebook packages—how are libraries approaching ebook acquisitions?
  • Workflows for ebook acquisition. Who is involved? How is it documented?
  • Communicating platform specifications, use and user restrictions, and changes as well as ideas for promoting ebooks after the acquisition has taken place.
  • ebook aggregators vs. publisher-direct ordering.
  • Leased vs. ownership (perpetual access) options for ebooks.
  • How to help others in your institution understand the potential of ebooks, including communicating and promoting to institutional colleagues.
  • Long-term maintenance related to ebooks—weeding, cataloging, managing changes, and other policies.
  • Usage statistics—collecting, reviewing, sharing.

Find a summary of the discussion in the ALCTS News.


Andy Langhurst is Licensing/Acquisitions Librarian at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. She currently manages the Electronic Resources and Acquisitions Pay unit at Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries and previously worked as a technical services librarian at a corporate library in upstate New York.

Kay Downey is the Collection Management Librarian at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. She works with public services and technical services librarians to identify and manage selection for library resources to ensure growth and development of the collection. She also represents Kent State University Libraries on the OhioLINK Cooperative Information Resources Management Committee (CIRM). She previously worked as Serials and Electronic Resources Librarian for the Ingalls Library, Cleveland Museum of Art.


How to Register

You must register your email address to subscribe to or access an electronic discussion list on ALA's Mailing List Service. Find instructions for subscribing online.

Once you have registered for one e-forum, you do not need to register again, unless you choose to leave the list.

Tech Requirements

Internet connection with an email address.


If you have trouble subscribing to the discussion list or have questions, please contact the e-Forum Coordinator at eforumcoord@ala.org.