The Library Journal, in partnership with Bowker Pubtrack Consumer, produces a quarterly publication called Patron Profiles (paywalled). Each report is based on surveys and data collected from 2000+ public library patrons across the US, and
“reveals key findings and important insights on emerging digital trends and new reading technologies shaping the future of libraries.”
The first issue (October 2011) is entitled ‘Library patrons and ebook usage’, and found that 50% of library users reported purchasing books by an author they were introduced to in the library. Other issues deal with mobile devices and mobile content, library websites and virtual services, and media consumption. The fifth issue (October 2012) deals with library patrons and the changing ebook landscape.
The ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group released EBook Business Models: a scorecard for public libraries on January 25, 2013.
The report examines specific variables often seen in ebook license contracts, and is designed to help libraries and librarians conceptualize licenses holistically instead of fixating on one aspect of a contract in isolation. It describes model terms that libraries and librarians should look for in their dealings with ebook publishers and distributors, as well as conditions libraries should avoid.
Andy Woodworth started a petition on change.org called Tell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries.
The petition closed somewhat over a year ago (at time of writing) with 70,209 signatures, and was sent to HarperCollins’ CEO and President of Sales.
South Shore Public Libraries are publicly boycotting ebooks from Random House, over Random House’s pricing increase for ebooks to libraries.
They have also have a petition asking Random House to return library ebook prices to consumer price levels, and are actively encouraging their library patrons to sign the petition.
The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System had a campaign encouraging libraries (and consumers) to boycott the Big 6 publishers in October 2012, as a protest of the difficulties American public libraries face in purchasing ebooks and supplying them to patrons. Most of the campaign’s activity occurs on their FaceBook page, although they do have a blog as well.
The review was announced by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey on 26 september 2012. It will be headed by William Sieghart and will consider:
- the benefits of e-lending
- the current nature and level of e-lending and projection of future demand
- Current supply models, barriers to the supply of e-books to libraries, and likely future trends
- Systems for remunerating authors / publishers for e-lending
- The impact of e-lending on publishers and their business models
- Any unforeseen consequences of e-lending, including the long term impact on library premises, the impact on those who cannot keep up with changes in technology, skills requirements for librarians etc.
Submissions to the panel closed on 6 November, 2012, and the panel’s review is due to be produced in early 2013.
The panel’s terms of reference should be available at http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/e-lending_review_ToR.pdf, but at time of writing this document was not available on the DCMS website. However, the document has been archived by the UK National Archives and is available through the UK Government Web Archive – Terms of Reference.
Announcement of the review on the DCMS website
Press release announcing the review
The Swedish Library Association (Svensk Biblioteksforening) launched this public awareness campaign (in Swedish, but plays well with translation widgets), suggesting that, with ebooks, corporations and businessmen are currently determining what books are available for access and borrowing, rather than librarians. The campaign included placing advertisements and producing brochures.
The main information brochure has been translated in English.
The Swedish Library Association (Svensk Biblioteksforening) released the brochure The Library and E-Books (English version), outlining the current situation around ebooks and libraries in Sweden, listing some key principle for the supply of ebooks to libraries, and advocating for a sustainable remuneration model.
More information on the proposed remuneration model is available on the association’s website (in Swedish, but plays well with translation widgets). There is also a more detailed position paper, released June 2012, which seems to only exist in a Swedish language version.
The Canadian Urban Libraries Council has undertaken a range of work relating to ebooks in public libraries, including:
- Meeting and consulting with a range of publishers, authors groups, libraries and vendors
- presenting a number of public industry events
- developing positions statements and white papers on ebooks and public libraries
- Planning to develop a platform to enable greater accessibility and use of ebooks in Canadian public libraries
Launched in May 2012, EBLIDA’s E-books in libraries campaign is aimed at drawing “the attention of politicians and citizens of the European Union both to the risks and threats at stake for libraries and their patrons (therefore also to the citizens) with the current situation in the volatile market of e-books in which libraries have very few rights.”
The current campaign is designed in 3 steps:
- Until October 2012 – Establish task force, publish Position Paper in every European language, follow up with the European Union Commission on the survey on European Libraries and e-books, begin meetings with the Federation of European Publishers
- October 2012 to May 2013 – Follow up on meetings with Federation of European Publishers, meet with Members of the European Parliament, organise meetings in specific regional areas with local and national representatives
- May 2013 – First set of achievements, next propositions