In the midst of an already challenging year, the news came as a huge blow to academic libraries. Dawson Books, one of the U.K.’s leading academic and professional library suppliers, announced it was permanently shutting down its Dawsonera ebook platform July 31, leaving all the platform’s content inaccessible.
Dawson Books, part of Bertram Group, delivered a range of products and services for academic libraries and their users. Many libraries relied on Dawsonera’s ebooks to serve their patrons, especially after COVID-19 closed the doors of physical libraries and made electronic resources an absolute necessity.
“The loss of an industry leader like Dawson Books is devastating – not only for libraries, but for fellow publishers and partners,” said David Parker, Vice President of Product Management for ProQuest Books. “Customers began reaching out with urgent concerns about the impending loss of access to Dawson ebook content for teaching and learning. As soon as we heard, we knew we needed to help libraries find a solution.”
ProQuest began working immediately with customers to maintain their access to Dawson’s content. They did this by migrating more than 220,000 Dawson Book titles to Ebook Central, the ProQuest ebook platform.
This content is also protected through ProQuest’s SAFE service, which ensures long-term security for customers’ digitized content using Amazon Glacier, the backup and data-archiving resource from Amazon Web Services. “The events of 2020 have reminded us all that protection of investments in digital content is critical and a responsibility that libraries shouldn’t shoulder on their own,” added Parker.
Since July, more than 90 ProQuest customers in the U.K. saw their Dawsonera titles migrated to Ebook Central, and they can rest assured that their content will remain accessible.
“ProQuest responded to the situation very efficiently…it was all done on a clear timetable and very calmly,” said one customer whose Dawson titles were migrated. “They were able to match a substantial number of titles and make them available on Ebook Central seamlessly. Queries and non-standard requests were handled quickly by ProQuest, who also provided updates and relevant spreadsheets in a timely way. ‘Downtime’ for transferred titles was kept to a minimum and therefore did not affect our users in any significant way.”
Whether it’s Dawsonera content migration, print-to-electronic title matching or another service altogether, ProQuest is positioned to address the immediate and long-term needs of libraries and their users – even when those needs arise unexpectedly.