Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Message from Robert Stevens / ALA President on eBooks / March 4, 2011

Message to the ALA Executive Board, Council, Division and Round Table Leadership, Equitable Access to Electronic Content Task Force and OITP’s E-Book Subcommittee:

Recent developments in the e-book marketplace have underscored the importance of a model for e-book purchasing and lending that reflects the interests of all of the stakeholders: authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries and, ultimately, the public.

At the recent Midwinter Meeting, my president’s report identified the names of the members of the Equitable Access to Electronic Content task force, which was created in response to a Council resolution. The task force, chaired by Linda Crowe and Michael Porter, will be meeting in Washington next week for a working retreat that is being financially supported by ALA. Among other groups, they will get assistance from OITP’s E-Book subcommittee.

I do not take your concerns about changes in the e-book pricing approach lightly. However, due to the far-reaching and long-term effects, the task force deserves time to gather information and examine the complex issues involved in equitable access to electronic content, including e-books. We will receive their report at the Annual Conference and I look forward to our using it, as an association, to formulate actions that will ensure we have 21st century libraries to meet the needs of our users.

Meanwhile, please feel free to continue communicating your viewpoints to publishers and e-book distributors.

Thank you for speaking up.

Roberta Stevens
ALA President

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