The simplest explanation: Occam’s reader and the future of interlibrary loan and e-books

Ryan Litsey, Kenny Ketner, Joni Blake, Anne McKee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In spring 2011, members at the joint meeting of the Greater Western Library Alliance Resource Sharing/Document Delivery and Collection Development committees discussed the growing “silo-ization” of e-books behind different universities’ local databases and access portals. The group formed a subcommittee to investigate the possibility of developing a software system that would allow the interlibrary loan (ILL) of e-books. Two employees of the Texas Tech University (TTU) Libraries explored the question: “What is the simplest way for libraries to lend e-books to each other?" Together, three members-Texas Tech, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA)-formed the Occam’s Reader Project. Each institution began developing different components of the software. Hawai’i designed the public viewer, and Texas Tech designed the software that would handle the e-book conversion, transmission, and hosting. Occam’s Reader offers a unique solution in which the intellectual content of the book is made available for the patron to read, but it is stripped of the additional features and links of the full e-book. The philosophy is similar to offering the level of access of printed books, but with quicker delivery. By spring 2014, the Occam’s Reader project entered a pilot program with the publisher Springer to test the Occam’s Reader software with other GWLA members.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic E-Books
Subtitle of host publicationPublishers, Librarians, and Users
PublisherPurdue University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781612494289
ISBN (Print)9781557537270
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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