Working Group on Libraries and Digital Content

icon representing digital content issuesThe ALA Working Group on Libraries and Digital Content is charged to:

  • Advise the Association regarding opportunities and issues related to libraries and digital content and the provision of equitable access to digital content for all.
  • Explore, analyze and share information on various options for  expanding access to digital content for libraries and  the public  and for overcoming legal, technological, policy and economic barriers to equitable access
  • Suggest information and training that would be of use to librarians so that they can make informed choices, serve as advocates for digital access, and design and support digital services.
  • Advise the Association on efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of issues related to access to digital content and the challenges to/role of libraries in providing equitable access to digital resources.
  • Assist in the identification of strategies to influence decision makers—whether government officials, publishers, other information service providers, interest groups, and others—to effect changes that would assist libraries in better serving their communities. 
  • Address specific issues such as Business Models, Accessibility, Privacy, Education for the Library Community, Public Outreach and Publisher/Service Provider Relations through working subcommittees, bringing in other experts and advisors as appropriate.
  • Serve as formal liaisons to various ALA and ALA affiliate groups (examples would include the divisions, round tables, ethnic affiliates, and ALA Accessibility Assembly).
  • As appropriate, reach out to other organizations and experts in other fields in order to better understand the broad technological, social and economic environments and trends and their potential impact on libraries.

For additional information about this group, including the roster (available to members), please see http://www.ala.org/groups/committees/special/ala-dcwg

Information provided by OITP regarding the recent PEW report. This backgrounder is intended to briefly share report highlights, key messages developed by the American Library Association Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, and additional data and resources that may assist libraries as they communicate about this greatly expanding area of library collections and services.
The Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG) of the American Library Association (ALA) is developing a series of informational Tip Sheets for the library community. We are pleased to share with you Tip Sheet #1 on digital rights management.
The ALA's EBook Toolkit provides 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.
The study provides an economic analysis of the current environment in which libraries acquire electronic books (e-books) and offer some thoughts about the future.
A primary area of focus for ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group has been on ebook business models that are favorable to public libraries.
Based on the past months of work on ebooks, publishers, and distributors, the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG) completed and released its report “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries” in early August as a means of sharing some of what we learned with the library community at large.