This paper embodies research on the purchasing of electronic resources by public libraries. It sought to identify what works well and what is problematic with respect to the management of commercial products. Views were also sought on future development, and how procurement could best be managed. The main concerns identified were the lack of a national dimension and strategy, and of expertise in individual authorities and consortia, particularly with licences. Purchasers were felt to be reactive, not taking control of the procurement by specifying requirements. E‐resources were felt to be very expensive; there was not necessarily any price advantage as a result of consortial negotiations. It was also felt that hard‐copy and e‐resource procurement and strategy should not be separated. Licence terms and pricing models were felt to be confusing, and the interfaces provided inappropriate.
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