In a move that will further expand its e-book footprint in the library market, ProQuest has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ebook Library (EBL), a pioneering e-book provider in the library market. The acquisition comes a year after ProQuest acquired ebrary, another e-book player in the library space in January 2011, and just as librarians prepare to gather for the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, beginning January 25.

ProQuest officials say they will merge EBL with ebrary, to combine "the strongest features of ebrary and EBL into a single, comprehensive e-book platform” once the acquisition is finalized. Financial terms were not disclosed .Kari Paulson, EBL's president, will join ProQuest to manage the combined e-book business unit and lead the effort to merge EBL and ebrary into one platform.

Founded in 2004, EBL has been at the cutting edge of library e-books and digital book lending (along with ebrary), pioneering new services in the library market, including its Non-Linear Lending (NLL) model, demand-driven acquisitions, short-term loans, and “chapter-level” purchasing options for use in practices like e-reserves. EBL offers some 300,000 e-books to libraries around the world, from more than 500 publishers.