The Spotify of the textbook world takes off as Bibliotech is go

As libraries look to widen access to core texts, how can they make this affordable to both universities and students?

Social mobility of students is a topic that rarely leaves the education headlines, with tuition fees and accommodation costs at the top of the list. Less topical, but of real importance to students’ day-to-day learning, is whether or not they have access to digital resources.

Bibliotech, coined by its founders as ‘the Spotify of textbooks’, has been selected as a preferred e-textbook supplier in the UK. A shortlisted entrant in our edtech startup competition this year, Bibliotech negotiates with publishers on behalf of its users – be they students or academics – and via a web app, provide access to core textbooks for as little as £2.99 a month.

Bibliotech was named as one of the recommended suppliers for e-textbooks in the Joint Consortia Framework Agreement for Books, which launches today. UK higher education institutions may purchase their e-books, standing orders and related materials via this framework agreement which provides compliance under EU procurement directives.

David Sherwood, CEO at Bibliotech, commented,

“We’re very pleased to be appointed as a supplier on the Joint Consortia Framework Agreement not long after Bibliotech launched in September 2016.

We offer e-textbooks under a unique subscription business model and look forward to partnering with libraries in England and Wales to provide a sustainable library focused model for electronic textbook delivery.”

Caroline Mackay, licencing manager at Jisc Collections, said:

“It’s great to be launching this partnership with Bibliotech. It was set up by students who saw the potential of technology to provide online access to thousands of textbooks and learning materials, and gives a truly affordable option for many students, who would otherwise struggle to pay for these resources.

We are also able to offer the service to libraries, which should really help students studying electives get access to resources which they may only need for a short while, and could form part of a valued package of support from their university.”

The Bibliotech platform creates bespoke e-textbook packages which match institutions’ reading lists and integrate into all library management systems, virtual learning environments and reading list software.

All students have unlimited access to the content purchased for their course – a library-focused alternative to the one-for-one model.  Bibliotech already work with most of the major publishing houses and continue to sign new publishing partners with top titles from all the major courses.

Read more about the Bibliotech model and improving textbook access on the Jisc Collections website.