OCLC and EBSCO Publishing have signed an agreement whereby EBSCO will purchase the assets of the OCLC NetLibrary Division and the rights to license a select number of vendor-owned databases currently available through the OCLC FirstSearch service. The purchase includes the NetLibrary eBook and eAudiobook platform, as well as operations and infrastructure in Boulder, CO.
NetLibrary eBook content and eAudiobook subscriptions will continue to be available on the NetLibrary platform. EBSCO plans to provide access to the NetLibrary eBook content on the EBSCOhost® platform, creating a comprehensive integrated eBook and database service. NetLibrary eBooks will also continue to be discoverable through WorldCat.org.
OCLC purchased the assets of NetLibrary in 2002 from bankruptcy in order to protect libraries' investments in eBook content purchases, and to explore the potential of eBooks for libraries during the early days of eContent and the Web. EBSCO will provide OCLC MARC records for applicable eBooks to libraries free of charge and will ensure continued visibility of these important collections in WorldCat.org. EBSCO plans to maintain the popular eBook content purchase model and will explore eBook subscription options.