Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada

Knowledge Transfer

eBooks – RFP Info


Canada’s English-language publishing community (represented by eBOUND Canada) and Canada’s public libraries (represented by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council – CULC) are accepting proposals to develop a made-in-Canada solution that will provide eBook lending capabilities to all Canadian public libraries from Canadian publishers, with the opportunity for international publishers to join partner as well. In addition to eBook lending, the solution will, potentially, facilitate the sale of both eBook and print materials from the same publishers to library patrons.

We require a solution wherein patrons are permitted to seamlessly borrow, purchase and download content within the public library’s existing discovery layer, without the appearance of leaving it. We are seeking partners who feel their organizations possess existing technology that can meet our requirements or who feel their organizations can provide such technology within a few months.

In reaction to the shortcomings of existing content distribution models, in which vendors primarily retain the control of assets, public libraries in the U.S. are watching the creation of this model with great interest. The successful vendor has a very real opportunity to expand the model into the international market. To be successful, a vendor must address the need for publishers to ensure that all content is used solely as set out in contractual agreements with libraries. The vendor must also meet the needs of libraries by providing access to and portability of those materials.

This Request For Proposals (RFP) process is intended to lead to a yearlong pilot project and, later, to full implementation of the solution across Canada. If successful, it is possible that the pilot period will be shortened. We are confident that a joint venture of libraries and publishers, with participation by a vendor who provides services, is the model that will ultimately succeed.

Important Dates


For questions regarding this RFP, you are welcome to contact:

Jefferson Gilbert
Executive Director, CULC/CBUC

Susan Renouf
Chair, eBOUND Canada

Questions and answers will be published on the CULC website in an anonymous fashion.

eBound | CULC eBook Lending RFP Information.pdf

eBound | CULC eBook Lending RFP Information – Appendix B.xls