E-books & Digital Content

icon indicating Digital Content pageSupporting the “Transformation” of libraries is a priority of the Association’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.

New digital forms of information offer rich and extraordinary opportunities for libraries to expand community access to information and to revolutionize in positive ways the relationship between libraries and users. At the same time, these new forms of digital content pose new challenges.

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

To help meet this need, the ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Working Group was formed in Fall 2011 to implement the recommendations and to continue the work of ALA’s Task Force on Equitable Access to Digital Content. Working Group members were selected by the ALA President based on their high level of expertise and range of experience regarding libraries and digital content, and are broadly representative of the various constituencies within the Association and library community.

See also: Digital Supplement Overview Digital Discoveries, from American Libraries Magazine.


This website is meant to be a resource to support libraries in their transformation from print to digital content. In the ALA Resources section, librarians will find the E-book Media and Communications Toolkit, along with resources specific to public libraries (PLA), school libraries (AASL) and technical services (ALCTS).

The site includes sections about ebook sales, such as business models, copyright and other legal issues. Links to blogs with writings about ebooks and digital content are included. Studies about ebook use are included along with other digital content research. The site is informed by the activity of the ALA Digital Content Working Group. Information by and about authors who support e-book sales to libraries can be found on the Authors for Library E-Books site.


E-book Media and Communications Toolkit
Resources to help start and continue the conversation regarding library e-book lending, access issues, and general public awareness. Tools include press release and op-ed templates and guidelines for using them with editorial and news media contacts, news hooks you can use locally, tips for relationship building with media contacts, and links to examples of e-book-related editorials and news stories.

More Resources

icon indicating ALA ResourcesALA Resources
A collection of items offered by the ALA to assist in the transformation of your library through the use of Ebooks and Digital Content.

Icon representing data about digital content usersData about Digital Content Users
Reports on who uses Digital Content and Ebooks, and how those items are used.

icon representing blogsBlogs To Watch
A selection of blogs discussing Ebooks and Digital Content in libraries.
Icon representing issues and where to startIssues & Where to Start
Ideas for libraries starting Digital Content and Ebooks with information about the most relevant issues.
icon representing business modelsBusiness Models
Examples of publisher and other business models for working with and setting up library Ebook and Digital Content distribution.
Icon representing publications and researchResearch
Examples of books and other research concerning Ebooks and Digital Content in libraries.
icon representing copyright issuesCopyright & Legal Issues
Learn about copyright issues relavent to Ebooks and Digital Content from the perspectives of the publisher, author, library and user.
Icon representing sales and pricingSales & Pricing
Examples and information about what libraries can expect for the pricing of Digital Content and Ebooks.