American Library Association discusses e-books in Seattle

ALA_SeattleMWM2013_HORZ_ColorAppropriately, in the home city for the e-book revolution, the American Library Association will be discussing the practices and policies of publishers who do or don’t want their e-books in library systems. Recently, Macmillan Publishers reversed the trend of NY publishers pulling out of library lending of e-books and announced that it will enter the library e-book lending market by the end of March 2013.

ALA President Maureen Sullivan then released the following statement: “I am so pleased Macmillan Publishers is beginning to sell e-books to America’s libraries so that we may connect their authors and our readers in the digital age. This is a welcome acknowledgment of our advocacy and the importance of the library market. We have always known that library lending encourages patrons to experiment by sampling new authors, topics and genres. This experimentation stimulates the market for books, with the library serving as a critical de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.”

On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, members of the ALA Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) will discuss ALA initiatives to advocate for fair e-book library lending policies during a session at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The session, titled “E-books and Libraries: Where Do We Stand and Where Are We Going?” will be held in the Washington State Convention Center Room 602-603 from 1:00-2:30p.m.

The session will be moderated by Digital Content Working Group member Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Member, Bob Wolven, associate university librarian at Columbia University, will discuss e-book licensing business models. Additionally, Alan Inouye, director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, will discuss future directions for ALA leadership on the e-book issue.

Additionally, the session will include a leading panel of experts and practitioners from the e-book publishing ecosystem that will illuminate policy priorities for ALA going forward. Panelists include: Skip Dye, vice president, Random House; Matt Tempelis, cloud library business manager, 3M; and Jamie LaRue, director, Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries.

Oddly enough, there’s no representative from the Seattle powerhouse in e-publishing: Amazon.com.

Highlights of ALA’s Seattle conference can be found at their website.  We always interested to hear from attendees at these conferences:  worth it or not for you as a publisher? Make a comment here!