Just about 6 weeks after launching ebrarian 2.0 with some pilot library customers (see http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17266), ebrary has delivered on its promise to roll out version 2.1 globally to libraries within the first quarter of this year. The provider of information distribution and retrieval services to libraries announced that it is now shipping ebrarian 2.1. The company also announced two new library customers, Providence College Library and The University of Texas General Libraries, as well as a major distribution partnership with Amigos Library Services. In addition, ebrary now offers a 30-day free trial for any library to evaluate the service (sign up at http://www.ebrary.com).
The ebrarian solution allows libraries to augment their existing collections with ebrary's digital collection of over 5,000 titles. The new version of ebrarian includes some advanced features for libraries that came from the wish lists of ebrary's pilot customers. ebrarian 2.1 now provides more library-specific integration features and offers more foreign-language support.
The Amigos regional network serves more than 750 libraries located primarily in the southwestern U.S. The co-distribution agreement with ebrary allows them to offer consortial pricing to its members. The Amigos libraries benefit by having a regional network's seal of approval and pre-negotiated terms for the agreement, thereby streamlining the acquisition process.
"ebrary offers a unique service that will benefit Amigos member libraries by enabling them to enhance their collections and optimize existing digital resources," said Jeff Downing, manager of Amigos A-Plus Services. "With ebrarian, Amigos member libraries can offer an unlimited number of their patrons simultaneous online access to a rich, growing collection of books and other documents from leading publishers—the majority of which were published within the past 2 years."
"Many libraries purchase digital resources either through their regional networks or based upon their recommendation, so our partnership with Amigos is an enormous validation for our offering," said Christopher Warnock, CEO of ebrary. "We are extremely pleased that Amigos will enable us to quickly and efficiently distribute our ebrarian service, and look forward to continually providing libraries worldwide with affordable services that address their needs."
Warnock noted that Amigos is one of about 14 regional library networks—others include SOLINET, BCR, NELINET, SUNY, etc. "We hope this is the first [deal] of many," said Warnock. He noted that securing the partnership with Amigos was "validation for us. Expect to see us announce more customers very soon."
He also said that ebrary would soon be doing a substantial push to add content, and that he hoped its titles would increase by another 50 percent. He expects this will include both new titles from the company's existing publishing partners as well as new publishers to the program. Warnock added, "Our relationship opens the doors to new revenue opportunities for ebrary's publishing partners who can securely distribute their copyright-protected works to new online channels."
ebrary charges an annual license fee for implementation, technology license, and maintenance. Exact pricing varies depending on the type of library and its size. Special regional network and consortia pricing is available.
Founded in February 1999, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has offices in New York. ebrary is privately funded by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson, and Random House Ventures.