Monday, March 19, 2012

Ebooks belong in libraries

News about the difficulty of providing ebooks in libraries is finally spreading to the general public. Librarians have been worrying and debating for months, even years, about the restrictions placed on ebooks in libraries, but few people outside the profession realize what is happening. Many people believe—whether they approve or not—that libraries are providing ebooks easily to all of their users. An article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle recounts some of the difficulties that librarians face

As the library journals have pointed out, and most librarians know, publishers are pulling back on their offerings of ebooks in libraries. Many of the major publishers do not allow new books to be sold to libraries; some have stopped supplying any titles at all. All of us who are librarians should speak up for the people who want to borrow ebooks from the library. Encourage our professional organizations, especially ALA to continue to press the publishers for changes. Encourage our congressional representatives to support the right of readers to find books in school and public libraries in many different formats.

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