August 16, 2012
eBook Business Model Report Published by ALA's Digital Content & Libraries Working Group
Quoting from the introduction to "Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries" (Aug. 8, 2012):
In response to urgent member concerns, the Digital Content & Libraries Working Group of the American Library Association (ALA), in close collaboration with ALA’s president and executive director, has focused on influencing the largest (“Big 6”) trade publishers to sell ebooks to libraries on reasonable terms. During the past months, the Working Group has developed considerable knowledge about the ebook market, publishers, and the new challenges posed by library ebook lending to inform its discussions with publishers and distributors. However, the Working Group is well aware that information about this topic is highly sought in the library community generally, and so this report was prepared to share some of what we have learned.
From ALA's perspective as a library association advocating for libraries and their patrons, three basic attributes should be included in every publisher's business model for eBooks:
- Inclusion of all titles: All ebook titles available for sale to the public should also be available to libraries.
- Enduring rights: Libraries should have the option to effectively own the ebooks they purchase, including the right to transfer them to another delivery platform and to continue to lend them indefinitely.
- Integration: Libraries need access to metadata and management tools provided by publishers to enhance the discovery of ebooks.
For more, including a download link to the report, see ALA Releases "Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries" on ALA's E-content blog. [JH]