[A2k] Advocacy on Publishers Withholding eBook Sales to Libraries

Paul Whitney pwhitney48 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 6 16:36:28 PDT 2012

   For the information of the list I'm forwarding a powerful public
advocacy piece prepared by the Swedish Library Association on the
withholding of eBook sales to libraries by major publishers. Thanks to them
for having it translated into English.

   I recently did a blog posting on this issue and I've pasted below what I
think is the best example (albeit very local in its implications) of the
negative implications of lack of library availability of specific books
(the example is self published so the "Big 6" publishers cannot be held to
account in this instance):

 An excellent example of the potential for disenfranchisement due to
non-library availability of a book recently appeared in British Columbia
(BC). Provincial politics are currently in turmoil and it appears that a
dramatic shift to the left will occur in May 2013 when the next BC election
takes place.  In August, an eBook appeared by political insider Martyn
Brown, *Towards a* *New Government in British Columbia*, containing
revelations which have been the subject of major news coverage. A headline
in the *Vancouver Sun* read "A stimulating read for every voter" and a
columnist in Canada's *Globe & Mail* described it as follows:

In a lifetime of reading books about politics and the nature of governing,
I have to say that *Towards a New Government in British Columbia* is one of
the best and most insightful tomes I've come across.

Brown’s book is only available through Amazon.com as a Kindle or PC
download for $5.99. It is not available to libraries for lending. So we
have the situation where access to a timely, relevant and arguably
societally important book for British Columbians is denied to those without
a Kindle or computer and a valid credit card. This is disenfranchisement of
a sizeable number of citizens and it should be cause for concern.

It is examples such as Brown’s book that leads me to conclude that while
efforts are being made in a number of arenas to reach negotiated agreements
between publishers and libraries on eBook availability, political
intervention will be required to ensure that all worthwhile titles are
available to everyone in our society, irrespective of their social
circumstance or ability to pay.

   The full blog posting can be found here:

       Regards....Paul W.

More information about the A2k mailing list