An open letter to America’s publishers from ALA President Maureen Sullivan
September 24, 2012, CHICAGO — The following open letter was released by American Library Association (ALA) President Maureen Sullivan regarding Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin refusal to provide access to their e-books in U.S. libraries.
The open letter states:
It’s a rare thing in a free market when a customer is refused the ability to buy a company’s product and is told its money is “no good here.” Surprisingly, after centuries of enthusiastically supporting publishers’ products, libraries find themselves in just that position with purchasing e-books from three of the largest publishers in the world. Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin have been denying access to their e-books for our nation’s 112,000 libraries and roughly 169 million public library users.
Let’s be clear on what this means: If our libraries’ digital bookshelves mirrored the New York Times fiction best-seller list, we would be missing half of our collection any given week due to these publishers’ policies. The popular “Bared to You” and “The Glass Castle” are not available in libraries because libraries cannot purchase them at any price. Today’s teens also will not find the digital copy of Judy Blume’s seminal “Forever,” nor today’s blockbuster “Hunger Games” series. Continue reading
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is celebrating National Library Week by offering free access to six highly-praised online resources for use by any library during National Library Week. Free access runs through National Library Week, from April 10 to April 24, 2010. Librarians can download the widget to their homepage by visiting www.gale.cengage.com/NLW starting on April 10. Library patrons should look for the widget on their library’s homepage, which provides single-click access to these online resources.
The library is where stories are read, retold, written and created every day. In salute of the American Library Association’s theme – Create your own story @ your library, Gale is offering free access to resources that help library users explore and inspire stories of all kinds. Gale is offering access to six resources: Continue reading
Reprinted in full from an ALA email and press release:
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your patience. I held back on a public statement on the recent decision by Harper Collins to restrict the lending of e-books until the Equitable Access to Electronic Information Task Force (EQUACC) met last week. Please know that I heard your voices of concern about the impact of additional costs on your libraries and ability to meet the needs of the communities you serve. A press release
was issued today that speaks to our shared alarm at announced and potential limitations to the access to knowledge, information and the creative written works of authors in the electronic era. We know that libraries are essential to an informed nation and therefore our democracy. I have been and will continue to highlight our commitment to access in every media interview I give. Continue reading
Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor? I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston. It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc. Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion. Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader. Some cool features I saw included:
- full color
- text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
- track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
- embedded multimedia
- page turning
- highlight word and get a definition
- reflowable text
- change font
- some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
- publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.
blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore. B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010. The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders. Check it out.
The Dartmouth Medal, honoring a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, is awarded each year by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. This year, 3 titles were honored, one as the Dartmouth Medal winner and two for Honorable Mention. All 3 multivolume titles are available in ebook format through the publisher’s reference platform.
Winners for 2010 include:
Honorable Mention -
Here’s a link to the letter sent to the DOJ from the Exec Dir’s of ALA/ACRL/ARL on December 15th, outlining concerns of pricing and the lack of academic representation on the Registry Board.
And another link for the NY Law School document outlining the objections and responses in the amended settlement.
Ah, it is the beginning of September when thoughts turn to going back to school, the days turn a little colder (in the northern hemisphere) and the smell of lawsuit briefs is in the air. Well, okay — the latter might not be what you expect, but this is a special September, after all. Postponed from MayL1, the deadline for filing comments in the Google Book Search settlement is coming up. And everyone is weighing in (”again” for some) on the details of the settlement. A couple of highlights.
The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)L2 again offered its support for the settlement, if only the court would promise to extend vigorous oversight of pricing and privacy practices of Google and the Books Rights Registry. This came in the form of a supplemental filingL3 to the briefL4 the three organizations filed in MayL5 (just prior to the first comment deadline). Continue reading