DUBLIN, Ohio, November 15, 2001—Subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court, OCLC Online Computer Library Center announces that it has made an offer to purchase substantially all the assets of netLibrary and assume certain netLibrary liabilities. netLibrary is a leading provider of eBooks, eTextbooks and Internet-based content/collection management services.
Concurrently, netLibrary announced that it has voluntarily filed a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The transaction includes a loan from OCLC, to be repaid upon the consummation of the asset sale, to fund netLibrary's on-going operations through the transition period. OCLC's purchase of netLibrary's assets and its operating-funds loan to netLibrary are both subject to approval of the bankruptcy court.
"Electronic books and other forms of electronic content are quickly becoming strategic drivers in the sharing and advancement of knowledge in the digital age," said Jay Jordan, president and CEO, OCLC. "This potential alliance with netLibrary would advance our strategic directive to deliver technologies and services that support, extend and enhance the OCLC membership cooperative. eBooks complement our growing e-journal collection and provide exciting new synergies for our cataloging, resource sharing, reference and digital preservation services."
"Across the OCLC cooperative, there is strong interest in OCLC's pursuing an alliance that would continue to make netLibrary's eBook collection available," said William J. Crowe, Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees. "Indeed, 14 of OCLC's 16 U.S. regional network affiliates have arrangements for libraries in their regions to purchase netLibrary resources. The OCLC Board of Trustees has expressed its strong support for pursuing this proposed alliance with netLibrary."
"OCLC represents an excellent opportunity for netLibrary patrons, customers and content partners to continue to deliver the benefits of eBooks and electronic media to an expanding market. OCLC and netLibrary share a common commitment to grow and strengthen the role of libraries and educators in the digital age," said Rob Kaufman, president and CEO of netLibrary. "We are proud of netLibrary's role in pioneering the eBook and eTextbook markets. A potential alliance with OCLC would extend the opportunity to reach more patrons, grow catalog content and provide new and innovative learning opportunities in libraries, classrooms, homes and offices around the globe.
"netLibrary develops and markets eBooks and MetaText digital textbooks. eBooks are full-text electronic versions of published books that library patrons can search, borrow, read, and return via the Internet. With netLibrary eBooks, users can access library resources anywhere, anytime, and perform full-text searches across hundreds of books or within a specific book to speed research and reference projects. eBooks can be viewed online from any location using an Internet browser. netLibrary's catalog now contains approximately 40,000 titles covering a wide range of subject areas such as business, economics, technology, the social sciences and more.
netLibrary also markets MetaText digital textbooks, interactive, web-based textbooks with enhanced teaching, collaborating and learning tools for teachers and students. MetaText works with the leading textbook publishers to transform print textbooks into course-centric digital textbook learning environments. The MetaText catalog of digital textbooks, which includes more than 160 titles, covers topical areas ranging from Anthropology to Zoology.
netLibrary is the leading provider of eBooks and Internet-based content management services for the institutional library market. netLibrary develops, archives, hosts and maintains eBook collections for academic, corporate, public and school libraries. Thousands of libraries throughout the United States and internationally are currently providing netLibrary eBooks to their patrons. The MetaText Division of netLibrary creates, hosts and manages web-based digital textbooks for leading textbook publishers. MetaText digital textbooks provide instructors and students with a full range of interactive teaching, collaborating and learning tools.