eBook Consortium Project




The goal of the eBook Consortium Project is to research and develop a consortial ebooks solution for Ontario college libraries.

To view upcoming eBook Consortium offers:

For more information, please get in touch with us:



Participating colleges

The following colleges are participating in the eBook Consortium Project:

  • Algonquin
  • Boréal
  • Cambrian
  • Centennial
  • Conestoga
  • Confederation
  • Durham
  • Fanshawe
  • Fleming
  • George Brown
  • Georgian
  • Humber
  • La Cité
  • Lambton
  • Loyalist
  • Mohawk
  • Niagara
  • Northern
  • Sault
  • Seneca
  • Sheridan
  • St. Clair
  • St. Lawrence


eBook Study (January 2011-December 2011)

Access to and use of ebooks is one of the most exciting, yet challenging issues facing academic libraries. Building an ebook collection requires consideration of many factors such as content, formats and platforms; loading, archiving and management of ebook resources; pricing options; integration into the library catalogue; and digital rights management. The outcome of the research will assist the College LLRs in developing their ebook collections and policies by providing a clearer picture of the current digital landscape, identifying best practices for collection development and management; exploring the ILS implications of ebook resources; providing an inventory of existing vendors and pricing models; and will help to guide OCLS in developing a new service options related to ebooks.

Thank you to members of the eBook Research Panel for their work on this project.

  • Joan Sweeney Marsh, Sheridan College
  • Maureen Hyland, Humber College
  • Daniel Michniewicz, Seneca College
  • Paula Cardozo, Canadore College
  • Maureen Sheppard, Algonquin College
  • Eva McDonald, Centennial College
  • Marilyn Crawford, OCLS Executive Director
  • Virginia Roy, OCLS Manager of Services
  • Rosemary Kavanagh, ERK Consulting Inc.

The final report and supporting documents as submitted by the consulting team are available here for download. Please note, some documents linked from this page are only accessible by college library staff with accounts on the OCLS website.

eBook Study RFQ (2011-002) (2011-01-17)

Milestone 2: College Library Summary Response to discussion points

Milestone 2: Ontario Colleges Library Survey Response

Milestone 3: Aggregator Publisher Vendor Report

Milestone 3: EBL Library Agreement

Milestone 3: CEL eBook Distributors

Milestone 3: Elsevier MNC Flyer General

Milestone 3: MiL Publisher List (December 2010)

Milestone 3: Aggregator RFI Responses

Milestone 4: E-Reader Devices Report

Milestone 5: Final E-book Report

eBook Pilot Webinar Presentation - October 2011


eBook Consortium Project

The eBook Consortium Project aims to develop infrastructure to jointly acquire and manage ebooks and to establish a core ebook collection common to participating Ontario colleges. To assist college libraries in managing these resources more efficiently, the Consortium Project will set up a common process for the selection, acquisition, management, and delivery of electronic books, as well as a shared digital repository to streamline cataloguing and improve access to this material by students and faculty.

The goals of this project are for colleges to:

  • have a sustainable, common acquisition strategy for ebooks, with a dedicated budget and a structure for flexible, evidence-based selection of materials (governance)
  • benefit from attractive pricing and licensing conditions achieved through collective negotiation (licensing management)
  • offer fast and convenient access to these materials for all its students, staff and faculty through efficient content discovery (metadata management)


Phase 1: Implementation Analysis Phase (January 2013-April 2014)

The aim of the Implementation Analysis Phase was to analyze the current state of ebook purchasing and management in the colleges, engage faculty and students for their feedback, identify metrics that will be used to determine potential cost savings and efficiences, establish a business model, gather information about ebook collections and technologies available on the market, and begin planning for the consortium's functions, structure, resources, and budget.

The IAP established a project management office at OCLS including a project manager, administrative support, external consulting services, and a core project team. It also established a Project Steering Committee and three task forces who helped carry out the analysis: the Collection Task Force, Business Model and Vendor Task Force, and User Response Task Force.

The IAP concluded in March 2014 with a recommendation to implement the consortium in three axes:

  1. The establishment of an acquisition strategy common to all participating colleges.
  2. The development of a common workflow for the management of eBook metadata
  3. The establishment of a concerted outreach and marketing campaign to raise awareness for eBooks within all participating colleges.

A Business Case was subsequently developed to request the funding necessary to implement this vision. Funding was acquired in late 2014, enabling the transition to the Project Execution phase.

The following reports document the work of the various task forces during the Implementation Analysis Phase:

Implementation Analysis Phase Business Case (2012-10-25)

First Collection Task Force Report (2013-04-19)

Analysis of Vendor Marketplace RFP (2013-003 rev. 1) (2013-06-25)

Second Collection Task Force Report (2013-06-21)

User Response Task Force Report (2013-08-02)

Vendor Marketplace RFI (2013-08-21)

Report on Vendor Marketplace (2013-11-19)

Report on eBook Metadata (2013-11-29)

Report on eBook Metadata - Appendix B (2013-11-29)

Report on eBook Metadata - Appendix C (2013-11-29)

Implementation Analysis Phase Final Report (2014-08-06)


Phase 2: Project Execution Phase (January 2015-ongoing)

The Project Execution Phase aims to implement the recommendations from the Implementation Analysis Phase and establish the structure that will become the eBook Consortium. The PE phase will see the selection of a core collection of shared ebooks, the development of a solution for collectively managing ebook metadata, and the initiation of an ebooks marketing campaign throughout the Ontario colleges. Consulting services will also be sought to help establish a lasting structure for the consortium that will follow the end of the project.

In addition to the Project Steering Committee, there will be four groups that will oversee the execution of the project: the Collections Task Force, Outreach Task Force, Metadata Working Group, and Repository Working Group.

The following reports document the work done so far by the various task forces during the Project Execution Phase:

Project Execution Phase Business Case v4.2 (2014-10-07)

Metadata Repository RFQ (2015-001 rev. 1.0) (2015-04-17)

Consulting Services for Consortium Setup RFQ (2015-002 rev. 1.0) (2015-09-25)



The eBook Consortium listserv is intended to facilitate the distribution of information and discussion of issues surrounding the Ontario college libraries’ eBook Consortium. Any staff member at an Ontario college library is welcome to subscribe to this list.