ALA President Maureen Sullivan released an open letter to America’s publishers in September 2012, after talks with publishers failed to achieve any real results.
It’s arguable whether the letter had any direct impact on publishers’ behaviour or policies, but it at least attracted some media attention to the issue.
The ALA’s E-Book Media and Communications Toolkit is designed to support librarians in advocating for fair e-book lending practices, and in taking action in their communities. It provides templates for various documents, such as op-eds, letters to the editor, press releases, public service announcement scripts etc., to communicate the situation with ebooks as libraries, example editorials and news reports, advice on dealing with the media, and advice on outreach via social media.
A survey of library patrons, sponsored by OverDrive and the ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy, was undertaken in June and July 2012 via the thousands of OverDrive-powered public library ebook websites in the US.
The survey found that library patrons are also active book purchasers, and the majority would consider purchasing a book they discovered through a library.
View the full survey data (in PDF).
Backgrounder: Pew Research Center’s “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books” – Prepared by Larra Clark, ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, July 3, 2012.
This document shares some highlights from the newest Pew Research Center report on Libraries, Patrons, and E-books, along with some possible messaging and local angles for leveraging this new research with local media and decision makers.
In June 2007, Harris Interactive undertook 3 surveys regarding library use and purchasing activity. They found that at least one fifth of people have purchased a book, CD or DVD after checking it out from the library, and this was up to 50% for some materials and demographics.
The Comparison Survey Summary is available from ALA.
Frequently asked e-book questions from public librarians – prepared by the American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology Policy task force, June 2011.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a grant to OCLC for a new initiative, “The Big Shift: Advancing Public Library Participation in Our Digital Future.” Its purpose is to more fully understand the challenges that U.S. public libraries face in providing e-book content to borrowers, as they ensure that all Americans continue to have access to commercially produced content through their local public libraries, even as formats change.
OCLC will partner with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Public Library Association (PLA) to review the e-book landscape and jointly develop recommendations for managing the e-book environment, in order to ensure adequate public access to these emerging resources.
The final report is expected in May 2013.
The media releases from IMLS and OCLC were released in June and July 2012 respectively, but there does not appear to be a dedicated web presence to the project at present.