For immediate release | January 31, 2012

ALA resolution on publishers and practices that discriminate against library users

DALLAS - In a resolution adopted by the Council of the American Library Association (ALA), it has been resolved that the ALA:

1. Opposes any discriminatory policies of publishers and distributors which adversely impact access to content by library users.

2. Directs that the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries review the situation and recommend appropriate action and/or appropriate parties who should be informed of this resolution.

According to the resolution, adopted on Jan. 24 at the association's Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, "An increasing number of publishers and distributors have adopted policies that negatively impact the ability of libraries to provide content in formats needed by their patrons."

It adds, "The limitations imposed by publishers and distributors have not been clearly defined nor has a rationale for those limitations been provided."

The resolution states, "These publishers and distributors represent a growing trend that is troubling to American Library Association (ALA) members, adding, "The effect of these policies is to withhold content from library users, many of whom rely solely on the library for their content."

The ALA Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries is currently examining many of the issues outlined in the resolution.


Steve Zalusky