The Five Minute Tour

    A birds-eye view for Library Administrators

    The Basics

    The terms in bold are important to understanding how desLibris works. 

    desLibris is a “Platform” on which monographs from Canadian publishers and public document sources are presented in online form. Publisher copyright is protected on the platform with user authentication.


    All content on the platform is presented to the public in preview form, which offers the first 10% of the book for reading, but then denies access unless an account is in place.  Previews are also shown to library users where the title is not in the library's entitlement.


    Three “account types” are available: Library, Group and Individual.

    All three provide search and reading functionality for all users. The Library and Group accounts also provide special logins for administrators which expose various “tools” for customizing and configuring the platform for their users. 


    Access to all or partial segments of the content on the platform is granted in return for payment.  The accessible segments are known as “Entitlements.”

    The desLibris platform is designed to host monographs and monographs in series,  but not journals, serials or periodicals. The monographs in desLibris are further classified into three categories. Books are monographs issued by publishers who have licensed desLibris as a library distributor. Documents are issued on the websites of governments and public or non-profit agencies to inform the public. Open Access titles are monographs which have been made available by their publishers under Creative Commons terms.

    There are two broad Entitlement categories, which might also be described as “License models:” These are Subscriptions and Perpetual Access.


    The Subscription model, requiring periodic payment, is offered for collections or groups of monographs. Subscription licenses are usually granted for unlimited use within the institution, but they may also be subject to a concurrent user limit (by title or by account, depending on the service.)


    The Perpetual Access model is available for single titles or sets of titles like Standing Orders. These are one-time purchases which entitle the library or purchaser to permanent access. Perpetual licenses are available with two main usage controls: single-user or multiple simultaneous user. Permanent access is guaranteed by the Repository feature, which allows library purchasers to download watermarked PDF for local storage.


    Where entitlements are granted to copyright materials, royalties are paid to copyright owners based on revenue from sales and usage. 

    ​Features and Benefits


    Using various means of user authentication, desLibris can support thousands of simultaneous users accredited to a single library account. 

    Usage Reporting 

    Every library account has a usage reporting site providing granular reports on user activity. Every title displays usage history.


    All titles are supported with MARC records which are provided through a portal customized for each account. 

    The Checklist View

    While the "Thumbnail" view is the default, the "Checklist" view provides a convenient way to make an exportable list for personal use, getting quotes or purchasing. 

    Administrator Views

    Administrator accounts have access to menus and title views which are not available to users. 


    Your site can be customized for users in several ways. .

    Limiting Access  

    You can limit searching and viewing to only titles which are in your library's entitlement. .

    The Online Reader

    The online reader offers tables of contents, search inside, copying and printing. 

    The Bookshelf

    Available to personal account holders, the Bookshelf is a place to keep "Favourites"  for access on devices through the Reader app

    Buying Books

    All books in desLibris are available for library purchase under perpetual access licensing.  Use the Checklist View to get quotes and place orders. 

    Acquisition Profile    

    To maintain a wish list, use saved searches and usage indicators like "Access denied" reports to add titles to your Acquisition Profile.

    The Repository

    All titles purchased by your library are stored in your Repository as watermarked PDF, which may be used locally for any use covered under the license. 

    Search Aids

    Searchng is granular and specific with the many options offered in Advanced Search including search in fulltext. Save search and search histories provide further user assistance.

    External Sources

    Internet Archive and Open Library may be configured for access by library users using the External Search option.

    Custom Search

    Library administrators may set up  external search sites to enrich the results found in desLibris. These may be general sites like Google or Wikipedia, or specialized sites like CANLII. 

    Suggest a Document

    Anyone may "suggest a document" for inclusion in desLibris with a simple form submission. 

    Personal Accounts

    While personal accounts are not required in a library setting, they provide many advantages, including access to Bookshelves, storage of annotations and use of the Offline Reader.

    The Offline Reader    

    The "Dita Reader" app gives library users access to the contents of their Bookshelves on both Android and IOS tablets. 


    Personal account holders may "stack" permissions to access any book in the entitlement of  any institutional library or libraries of which they are members. 

    The Library License

    The terms and conditions under which desLibris is licensed to your library.

    The Content

    Complete Collection

    This is the full subscription package, currently containing over 18,000 Books and nearly 60,000 Public Documents. The "Books" collection is not available separately.

    Documents Only

    The Documents subset is available as a separate option.

    Irwin Law

    The full catalogue of Canada's leading law publisher, provided with tools to promote research.

    Ulysses Travel Guides

    Spanning nearly 400 titles, this collection includes all titles issued by Ulysses to date, with new titles added as they appear. 

    ​Frontlist Standing Orders

    Canadian scholarly publishers release hundreds of new titles every year, which are vital holdings for academic libraries. Few of these new titles are included in the desLibris Canadian Publishers Subscription Collection due to rights restrictions. 

    This service provides libraries with perpetual access licenses to new titles from these publishers as soon as they appear at a guaranteed and discounted price. 

    ​House of Anansi Non-Fiction 
    ​and Poetry

    To mark its 50th Anniversary, the House of Anansi Press has released a collection of 220 titles from its non-fiction and poetry lists for library use. Including all titles in the Massey Lectures and Monk Debates series, the titles in this collection are works of lasting reference value from a leading Canadian publisher.  

    The Anansi Collection is available exclusively on desLibris.

    ​Subject Collections    

    To provide specialized libraries with the growing body of content being delivered by desLibris in subject fields, “Subject Collection” entitlements are now available. These are subscriptions which deliver new Public Document titles to subscriber accounts on a daily basis as the titles are harvested.