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Consulting Opportunity

October 6th, 2010

The BC Books Online consortium is seeking a consultant to lead us on the next stage to the sale of the BCBO collection after the beta ends in June 2011.

BC Books Online Strategic and Business Plan

Location: Vancouver, BC
Deadline for applicants: October 18, 2010
Date posted: September 27, 2010

Job description: The BC Books Online (BCBO) Consortium seeks a consultant with knowledge of the digital environment for books in both the library and publishing communities. The consultant will create a plan that will allow the BCBO consortium to meet its objective to make the BCBO collection available to all citizens of British Columbia in 2011/12.

The project: In 2007, a consortium of library organizations and publishers came together to initiate a project to deliver a digital collection of BC published books to the entire province. Building on the vision of the Libraries Without Walls strategic planning document initiated by Premier Gordon Campbell in 2004, BC Books Online supports equitable access to all British Columbians through internet technologies and collaboration among libraries and the private sector.

The resulting collection consists of a broad range of non-fiction titles from BC publishers that engage us and reflect who we are as British Columbians. Currently the collection consists of over 1000 titles. In May of 2010 a beta of 650 titles from the collection was launched in twelve libraries in a number of geographic locations across the province and in K-12, public and post-secondary institutions. The beta will conclude in June 2011. For more information on the BCBO digital collection and the beta see bcbooksonline.ca.

The business plan: The business plan will allow the BCBO consortium to move forward at the end of the beta and to attain our goal to make the collection available to all citizens of BC in 2011/2012. The business plan will provide a market analysis, identify licensing strategies, present pricing models, explore funding opportunities and provide the consortium with an implementation plan.
The consultant will:

  1. Undertake an environmental assessment that will look at strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for BCBO
  2. Analyze the need and demand for the collection
  3. Assess the size and structure of the market
  4. Research sources of funding
  5. Provide an implementation plan
  6. Outline a timeline for implementation
  7. Propose requirements for project management during implementation and beyond
  8. Establish criteria for reviewing and evaluating progress

Concomitantly, the consultant will consider the following questions and make recommendations to the consortium:

  1. What type of license is appropriate given the current climate?
  2. Currently the content consists of approximately 1000 non-fiction titles. Should the collection be expanded to include fiction? How will the collection be added to over time?
  3. What kind of pricing models are appropriate?

Skills required: In addition to a knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of the digital environment as it applies to the publishing and library worlds, the consultant will bring a knowledge of the political and economic environment in BC and have excellent communications skills.

The consultant will report to the executive board of the BCBO consortium.
A final report will be expected by January 30, 2011.

Applicants should send a proposal with fee expectations by email to:

Margaret Reynolds
Executive Director
Association of Book Publishers of BC