By David Parker, Vice President of Product Management, ProQuest Books
In March, as COVID-19 continued its relentless spread around the world – and as libraries were suddenly thrust into an online-only environment – ProQuest reached out to its publishing partners, asking them to join us in offering unlimited access for ebooks in libraries’ collections.
We were overwhelmed by their support. We’re now well into two months of unlimited access to 940,000 titles from more than 220 publishers, with another month before this phase of the program ends.
Thousands of institutions have taken advantage of ProQuest’s no-cost program, and the data shows that users have embraced it. Since the unlimited access program began, downloads in Ebook Central have increased 275% globally. Users aren’t just scanning results lists – they’re engaging with the content.
Librarians we’ve talked with have summed it up simply: when doors to the print collection closed, ebooks became the only option. Whether this experience will drive permanent changes in student and faculty behavior remains to be seen. However, many librarians told us their own perceptions of ebooks have changed, and they find them more important than before. This unpredictable environment has highlighted what is truly essential: access.
The need to support distance research and learning is likely to grow, underscoring the continuing value of e-resources. While ProQuest and our publishing partners can’t make unlimited access free forever, we’re committed to making it more affordable. As the no-cost unlimited access program winds down on June 30, we want to help minimize disruptions for users.
As libraries deal with mounting pressure to deliver more with less, ProQuest can provide data to help drive decisions about upgrade options. A quick review of Ebook Central usage can show where the greatest demand is occurring. We’re eager to review usage reports with librarians. Simply send an email to email@example.com to start a conversation with us.
We’re also making unlimited access more affordable. ProQuest is working with a growing list of publishers to enable libraries to switch to unlimited access at 50% off the price of the upgrade. That means the estimated cost to upgrade a one-user license to unlimited access will range from $30 to $65. This program will run through August 31. See a list of publishers and learn more on our website.
We’re here to help. If you have any questions or would like more information about unlimited access, reach out to us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ProQuest is working in collaboration with partners around the world to create programs that ease the transition to distance research, teaching and learning. You can stay up to date on new programs by visiting www.proquest.com. Let us know how we can help you and users by contacting your account team or visiting https://support.proquest.com.