CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) welcomed today’s announcement (DOC) from Hachette Book Group that it will begin offering its full catalog of e-books immediately for lending in U.S. public and school libraries. ALA President Maureen Sullivan today released the following statement:
“I applaud Hachette Book Group’s decision to broaden its offerings to public and school libraries. Hachette will now include new e-book releases with no embargo period and an unlimited number of circulations. This step moves libraries closer to ensuring that patrons will be able to enjoy the same access to e-books as they have to print books. It also recognizes the critical role that libraries play in bringing authors and readers together in the digital age, as Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch noted in the announcement.
“Hachette Book Group has continuously offered its backlist (published before 2010) e-book titles to libraries and has worked directly with the ALA and libraries to explore and test licensing models. I’d like to thank them for their ongoing engagement, including our meeting with senior Hachette Book Group executives last fall.
“ALA will continue our engagement and dialogue with Hachette Book Group. We welcome Hachette Book Group’s assertion that they will continue to review their library pricing going forward. ALA and its members believe that there must be business models with lower price points for which publishers can still make a reasonable profit.
“With open minds and open communications channels, I believe libraries, publishers and authors will continue to find solutions to bring more content and greater balance to the reading ecosystem.”