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Library Ebook Lending in the USA Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair) Sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications March 24, 2014 Alan S.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Ebook Lending in the USA Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair) Sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications March 24, 2014 Alan S."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library Ebook Lending in the USA Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair) Sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications March 24, 2014 Alan S. Inouye American Library Association

2 Agenda Why are we here? Engaging and learning Challenges and opportunities The bigger picture: (E)book lending and the role of libraries Questions 2

3 A Bit of History Origins of the library ebook lending problem in the USA and why it is such a controversy U.S. copyright law: For print books, first sale doctrine enables library lending and much more Libraries have considerable discretion with print books to use as needed for public purposes 3

4 A Bit of History (2) Ebooks are available primarily through licensing arrangements—with many constraints Fundamental change in control and operations – Licensing terms / digital rights management – Role of distributors – Public libraries: Public policy is now a matter of private contracting 4

5 Library Crisis: 2011 into 2012 In wake of HarperCollins decision from spring 2011 – initiation of 26 circulation model Simon & Schuster, Macmillan out of library ebook market; Hachette BG offers only backlist Penguin pulls back from library ebook market Random House imposes big price increase 5

6 ALA Strategy: Engagement Many possible avenues to pursue; lots of advice Focus energy; ALA has limited resources What would have value in the long run? Conclusion: Direct engagement with publishers – Later, expanded to publishing ecosystem – Always subject to revision 6

7 Two Plus Years ALA leadership visits to NYC: – 8 multi-day trips Conferences: ALA, PLA, AAP, BEA, DBW Communications – Publications – Articles, op-eds, “Open Letter to Publishers,” media and communications toolkit, Authors for Library Ebooks campaign – Informal 7

8 Publisher Perspectives Start: Sales displacement, friction, security Large, complex, multinational organizations Libraries 101: Library marketing staff v. digital business staff and general managers – Misconceptions – Fears (library and non-library based) Problem: supporting many platforms/models 8

9 Publisher Perspectives (2) Publishers often perceived value of ebook higher than print book The distributor black box The megaplayers: Amazon, Apple, and Google Local public library just around the corner for publishers = New York Public Library 9

10 Library Perspectives Start: Unfairness, hostility Publishers are real people Publishing 101: Didn’t know much about publishing marketplace, and digital publishing – Even more difficult because of the rapidly evolving marketplace 10

11 Library Perspectives (2) Making the business case v. library needs More than publishers: authors, distributors, retailers, and readers Libraries far from homogeneous too More than “libraries” – state libraries, cooperatives, … 11

12 Big Five Current Status HarperCollins Penguin Random House – Penguin – Random House Hachette Book Group Macmillan Simon & Schuster 12

13 Some Issues Progress in 2013, but… Pricing Business models: Too many yet too few Remaining restrictions on availability – Frontlist – Pilots – Consortia 13

14 Some Issues (2) Facilitating sales: How far should libraries go? Library-developed platforms Intermediary platforms – transferring to another Archiving / preservation Privacy And more 14

15 Value Proposition of Library Ebook Lending: For Publishers Analog to digital: Fundamentally changes the value proposition Libraries represent direct sales; especially helpful for the backlist and mid-sized/smaller publishers Ebook discovery/exposure via physical buildings – Decline in physical outlets; rise of Amazon; B&N? – Increasing possibilities of libraries as sales outlets? Discovery /exposure: The “growth” area? 15

16 Libraries: Facilitating Ebook Discovery and Exposure Analogies from print book world still in play Leveraging the digital environment – Library Reads – Illinois Author Project – Orange County (Florida) Shake It app – Gimme (a clue), Scottsdale (Arizona) library – Digital review copies (Edelweiss, Net Galley) 16

17 The Evolving Library Library as publisher – Promotes community engagement & (digital) literacy – Expansion of self-publishing phenomenon Reframing: The publishing ecosystem – Implications and possibilities for libraries – And then more than ebooks… – Towards reinventing the future of libraries 17

18 Think Beyond Replicating the Book Model in the Ebook World ReaderPublisher Library/ Bookseller Author (& Agents) Distributor Reader Publisher Library/ Bookseller Author (& Agents) Distributor 18

19 Discussion - Questions Alan S. Inouye ALA Office for Information Technology Policy Washington, D.C., USA Resources American Libraries E-Content BlogBlog American Libraries Supplement on Digital ContentSupplement 19


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