eBooks

Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependant on libraries" ALA President Wanda Brown

After several years of relative stability, the publisher eBook licensing terms for library lending are again shifting in disconcerting directions. ALA has a longstanding commitment to ensuring all people have access to the world's knowledge through our nation's libraries, regardless of format. Many new models for library digital lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission—ensuring access to information for all.

Here's the truth: Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers. Access to eBooks through libraries must not be denied or delayed.

ALA is exploring all possible avenues to ensure that libraries can continue to purchase and lend at pricing models that are reasonable and flexible. ALA believes:

  • All published works must be available for libraries to purchase and lend to library users.
  • Access to and use of eBooks must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors, and publishers.
  • Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disabilities.
  • Library patrons must be able to access digital content on the device of their choosing.
  • Reading records must remain private in the digital age.

Today we urge the library community to tell Macmillan Publishers’ CEO John Sargent that we object to the publishing company’s new policy of embargoing library access to purchasing new eBook titles.

Customize this template for your state library chapters and local library boards to speak out against Macmillan's planned restrictions for library eBook lending.

Click the icon below to tweet about why we need #eBooksForAll

Tweet: Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers who are most dependent on libraries. @MacmillanUSA’s new policy is unacceptable, John Sargent. Cancel the embargo. #eBooksForAll pic.twitter.com/gVExvvfTC0

Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers who are most dependent on libraries. @MacmillanUSA’s new policy is unacceptable, John Sargent. Cancel the embargo. #eBooksForAll

As this trend continues to unfold, our community must be prepared for a long journey. Add your voice to conversation if you agree that access to and use all published works—regardless of format—must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors, and publishers.

For more information, tools, and resources about ALA's work on eBooks, please visit eBooksForAll.org.