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netLibrary launches the world's most comprehensive digital library on the Internet

Press Release: netLibrary [March 29, 1999]

BOULDER, Colo.-- March 29, 1999-- netLibrary, the world's premier provider of electronic books and information, launched today on the Internet at netLibrary provides libraries and their patrons anytime, anywhere access to a comprehensive collection of reference, scholarly, and professional electronic books (eBooks) and information that can be viewed, searched, and checked out via the Internet. All patrons need is a personal computer with an Internet browser (version 3.x).

netLibrary is redefining the learning experience by broadening the scope and functionality of traditional libraries. By extending the ‘bricks-and-mortar' library institution to the online community, netLibrary's platform offers a whole new world of information resources to library patrons including twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access to electronic information, advanced search capabilities, and the ability to highlight, bookmark, and annotate information.

"The Internet has created an opportunity to revolutionize the traditional library system," said Tim Schiewe, president and CEO of netLibrary. "It is netLibrary's mission to integrate the convenience, access, and capabilities of the Web with the familiarity and depth of content patrons find at their local or university library today."

"The Internet has created an opportunity to revolutionize the traditional library system," said Tim Schiewe, president and CEO of netLibrary. "It is netLibrary's mission to integrate the convenience, access, and capabilities of the Web with the familiarity and depth of content patrons find at their local or university library today."

  • AMACOM Books
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Columbia University Press
  • Duquesne University Press
  • E Source
  • Facts on File
  • Grove's Dictionaries Inc.
  • Harvard Business School Press
  • Indiana University Press
  • Johnson Books
  • Joseph Henry Press
  • Libraries Unlimited
  • M.E. Sharpe
  • Macmillan Press Ltd. UK
  • Macmillan Publishers Ltd. UK
  • McWhiney Foundation Press
  • National Academy Press
  • New York University Press
  • O'Reilly & Associates
  • Ohio University Press
  • Purdue University Press
  • Reference Service Press
  • Rutgers University Press
  • Scarecrow Press
  • Southern Illinois University Press
  • St Martin's Press Scholarly and Reference
  • Teachers College Press
  • The Brookings Institution
  • The McGraw-Hill Companies
  • The MIT Press
  • University of Akron Press
  • University of California Press
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • University of North Carolina Press
  • University of Pittsburgh Press
  • University of Scranton Press
  • University of Washington Press
  • University Press of Colorado
  • University Press of Mississippi
  • Utah State University Press
  • "netLibrary offers publishers and libraries familiar models that make business sense," said Ron Boehm, President and CEO, ABC-CLIO. "Even more importantly, both publisher and library receive much more information and have much more control over their key competencies than by working with traditional distributors."

    The Service

    netLibrary provides all the services of a traditional library, but with the convenience and advanced capabilities provided by the Internet. The premise is simple: patrons search for eBooks at netLibrary and then have the option of either checking out an eBook, viewing it online, or viewing it offline by downloading the eBook onto their computer. If an eBook is already checked out, users can queue for the eBook and will be notified when it is available.

    Users are offered capabilities and services beyond what is possible with hard-copy books. Besides twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access, users can search volumes of material by author, subject, title, key word, phrase, or idea. A search for a phrase or key word in netLibrary will not only pull up eBooks with the requested information, but will also take you directly to the page where it appears. Once there, netLibrary allows users to highlight, bookmark, and annotate text, all of which can be saved and used if the eBook is viewed again.

    netLibrary is converting hard-copy books to a proprietary electronic format, storing them on netLibrary servers, and then converting them to HTML as users request them. netLibrary has over 2,000 titles available today and will be adding as many as fifty titles a day to its collection. netLibrary will have over 8,000 titles by the end of 1999. Initially, netLibrary is focusing on reference, scholarly, and professional books to meet the demand for higher education and distance-learning curricula.

    "netLibrary offers us a tremendous opportunity to enhance our services, particularly for higher education and distance learning," said Alan Charnes, Executive Director, Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. "This service will impact both teachers and students by providing a totally new approach to learning."

    Benefits to Libraries and Publishers

    netLibrary gives libraries the ability to better serve their patrons by reducing or eliminating overhead and infrastructure costs associated with book storage, replacement, and maintenance. Interlibrary loans can be handled via the Internet, eliminating the need for shipping expenses and ending the delay associated with traditional loans. Best of all, netLibrary eliminates boundaries, making eBooks available to anyone with an Internet connection.

    netLibrary also allows librarians to better manage and develop their collections through usage reports. These reports show librarians how often an eBook is checked out, how many people are waiting to check out specific eBooks, and the last time the eBook was checked out. This information will also allow publishers to craft new acquisitions strategies and plans for product revisions.

    "As a consortium, we are committed to enhancing the services we provide our patrons by investing in new and leading-edge products," said Tom Sanville, Executive Director, OhioLINK. "From our perspective, netLibrary is the most powerful tool we have seen that may allow electronic books to play a major role in our collection development strategies."

    netLibrary's advanced security technology insures that the copyright of eBooks is as good or better than hard-copy books. Through controlled user access, watermarking, frequent on-screen copyright warning messages, and limitations on printing, copying, and downloads, the intellectual property of publishers is secure. If a user ignores warnings and continues printing or copying materials, they will be kicked off the system and be restricted from using the service.

    "netLibrary's extensive copyright protection and infrastructure have given us the critical solution needed to take advantage of the Internet," said Frank Urbanowski, Director, The MIT Press. "This new service will provide us with additional distribution channels and revenue streams through the sale of eBooks."

    All that is required to view eBooks online is an account with netLibrary, an Internet connection, and a Web browser version 3.X or better. To download eBooks, users need to install Knowledge Stationä on their PC. Knowledge Station is a powerful research tool that allows users to view eBooks off line, download documents, and annotate text with highlights, notes, and bookmarks.

    About netLibrary

    netLibrary is the world's leading provider of reference, scholarly, and professional electronic books and information on the Internet. Based in Boulder, Colorado, the company provides traditional libraries with new information and enhanced services and provides publishers with new distribution and revenue channels. Libraries currently using netLibrary's services include Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, OhioLINK, PALINET, and The University of Texas System. netLibrary is also working with the world's leading publishers and university presses. netLibrary can be found at

    View Citation
    Publication Year:1999
    Type of Material:Press Release
    Language English
    Issue:March 29, 1999
    Place of Publication:Boulder, CO
    Company: netLibrary
    Subject: e-books
    Online access:
    Record Number:7007
    Last Update:2020-01-07 16:00:10
    Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00