Resources for You and Your Patrons

  • ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group

    As libraries struggle to meet the challenges of providing digital content in an environment characterized by significant uncertainty and changing on a daily basis, this Association-wide group of experts, broadly representative of the many constituencies within the library community, is charged with proactively addressing digital content opportunities and issues at the highest level and from both a policy and practical perspective.

  • ALA Professional Tips Wiki: E-Books

  • Authors for Library Ebooks

    A new initiative that asks authors to stand with libraries in their quest for equitable access to e-books. Bestselling authors Cory Doctorow, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Jodi Picoult are helping kick off the campaign. The campaign represents an extension of the ALA’s advocacy strategy to ensure all people have access to the world’s knowledge and literature through our nation’s libraries—regardless of format. Developed by the ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Working Group, the campaign encourages authors to sign on to a statement of shared values, to discuss the issue with their publishers, and raise awareness of their concerns through their websites, social media, and other communications channels.

  • "Becoming Proactive: Taking the E-Book Initiative" (PLA Daily News)
    Marcia Warner, PLA President (2011–2012)

    Maneuvering the e-book market for public libraries is like driving a mountain road—exhilarating with the possibility of where we’re headed, but daunting with twists and turns along the way. It doesn’t help that it often feels like we’re driving without a map and reacting to contradictory road signs. The American Library Association (ALA) and the Public Library Association (PLA), along with some innovative thinkers in the public library world, are doing their best to change that.

  • Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the Library Community on Information Technology and 21st-Century Libraries
    Jennifer C. Hendrix for the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy
    http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oitp/publications/policybriefs/ala_checking_out_the.pdf (PDF, 24 pgs.)

    "For example, nothing is more fundamental to the traditional concept of a library than the book. Yet technology is redefining the very notion of what constitutes a book. This evolution is accompanied by rigorous debate in the library and publishing worlds. For each expert who offers a vision of the e-book, living book, or networked book, another decries the reported death of the printed word."

  • "E-Book Action: Inform and Inspire Your Community" Free On-Demand Webinar

    How do you respond when patrons ask why there aren't more e-books at the library? It's not an easy question. Turn your (and your patron's) frustration into action. View this archived recording of the free, 90-minute webinar and learn about two creative e-book campaigns initiated by libraries, as well as a comprehensive communications template kit to help you develop your own! You'll find new strategies for reaching out to your community members not only to explain why libraries have limited e-book collections but also to enlist their help in improving e-book access. Originally presented December 18, 2012.

  • E-Book Media and Communications Toolkit

    To assist libraries in informing the public about e-book lending practices, ALA has released this toolkit—a set of materials that will support librarians in taking action in their communities. Developed by the ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG), the toolkit includes op-ed and press release templates for library supporters interested in informing the public of the role that libraries play in building literate and knowledgeable communities. Additionally, the toolkit provides guidance on ways to use the media templates, as well as ALA talking points, e-book data, and public service announcement scripts.

  • Ebooks & Digital Content

    Supporting the “Transformation” of libraries is a priority of ALA’s 2015 Strategic Plan, and the rapid shift from print to digital content is one of the more dramatic developments now transforming libraries of all types. This website is meant to be a resource to support libraries in their transformation from print to digital content.

  • Public Libraries Online logo
    "E-Books and Libraries – What's Available for Free"
    (Public Libraries Online)
    Sheila Konen, Mary VanderLinde, Nancy Mires, and Christine Lind Hage

    Amidst all the demand is the rapidly changing e-book market. Publishers and libraries are working through the challenges of compatibility, digital rights management (DRM), and format types, among other issues, and are seeking creative ways to develop a model that provides the service to library patrons.

  • "E-books: Developments and Policy Considerations" (OECD)

    An interesting and comprehensive explanation of the ecosystem, trends, and policy issues surrounding e-books from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  • ebooks for libraries logo
    ebooks for libraries

    Help your patrons understand what's going on with libraries and e-books. Engage their help with ideas and information on this website. Includes a petition and video.

  • No Shelf Required: E-Books in Libraries
    Edited by Sue Polanka
    Chicago: ALA Editions, 2010

    In this volume, Sue Polanka brings together a variety of professionals to share their expertise about e-books with librarians and publishers. Providing forward-thinking ideas while remaining grounded in practical information that can be implemented in all kinds of libraries.

  • "Open Access eBooks, Part 3. Business Models for Creation" (TeleRead)
    Eric Hellman

  • Washington State Library eBook Pilot Program

    In autumn 2011, the Washington State Library implemented a pilot program that placed e-book readers in a limited number of libraries for the purpose of gathering information on the libraries' experiences with using the devices. Handouts, policies, and procedures, as well as words of wisdom from individual libraries that participated in the WSL eBook Pilot project, have been collected on the State Library's website.