E-Book Media and Communications Toolkit
Since January 2012, the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group has focused on e-book library lending – particularly around major publishers that refuse to offer their titles through our nation’s libraries, have dramatically raised prices, or have introduced new restrictions. And we have made some progress. As of April 2013, all of the “Big Six” publishers are now engaged in library e-lending pilots or provide some/all of their titles for purchase by libraries. (See FAQ for details.)
While there has been some movement, it is not enough. Librarians and our allies must speak out forcefully in communities across the country. Everyone needs to know that libraries offer e-books and 21st century library services, but we are unable to offer all the e-reading choices our patrons need because some publishers still restrict access. ALA provides this toolkit of resources to support your efforts to address this national problem.
Among the tools are 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.
We will continue to add and update materials as quickly as possible, but we also urge you to stay informed on this swiftly changing landscape. The American Libraries E-Content blog and ALA Transforming Libraries website provide the latest breaking news, as well as information about new studies and reports.
We know conversations extend beyond the media, as well, and encourage you to keep your patrons and community leaders informed and connect with state and local peers to promote library-friendly options.
Please share your questions, successful news placements, tips and suggestions for additional content by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-book Action: Inform and Inspire Your Community
E-book action webinar (archive) from the Public Library Association
Featuring Jo Budler, Kansas State Library; Lisa Bitney and Mary Getchell, Pierce County (Wash.) Library System; Vailey Oehlke, Multnomah County (Ore.) Libraries; and Larra Clark, ALA Office for Information Technology Policy
Frequently asked questions
Outreach to editorial page contacts
Op-ed template: Today’s Libraries Connect (E-)Readers but Face Challenges (.doc)
Letter to the editor template (.doc)
Examples of e-book-related op-eds and editorials
ALA op-ed in Huffington Post: Publishers Long Overdue in Offering Libraries eBook Titles
Free Library of Philadelphia op-ed at Philly.com: Push publishers to let libraries lend e-books
NJ.com editorial: Mercer County libraries provide help to residents learning about e-book options
Philadelphia Inquirer editorial: Libraries need e-books, too
Pierce County Libraries op-ed in The News Tribune (Seattle/ Tacoma): Publishers being Scrooges when it comes to e-books
La Grange Public Library op-ed in Suburban Life Media: Today’s libraries connect e-readers but face roadblock
ALA letter to the editor in New York Times: Libraries and Authors
Outreach to news reporters
Examples of e-book-related news stories
Portland Tribune: Libraries pay price for ebook ‘friction’
The Chieftain: E-books for everybody? Libraries struggle to provide digital books
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Libraries let patrons check out an iPad, or granddad’s history
Glenwood Springs Post-Independent: Garfield County Libraries, e-books and the future
Wausau Daily Herald: Libraries adjust to an e-book world
ALA media clips report on e-book lending (.pdf) - Media takes note of E-book lending issue in 2012
Outreach to radio stations
PSA scripts (.doc)
Outreach via social media
Additional data resources
Pew Internet Project research on libraries
ALA backgrounder on “Libraries, Patrons and E-books” research findings (.pdf)
OverDrive survey finds library patrons buy e-books
Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study