Pull quote: “Getting back to center here, my new view of the library eBook landscape is that time is still on our side. Thoughtfulness of our community needs and tough analysis of financial and ownership (or lack thereof) implications should not be surrendered to the quick fix of current vendor/publisher models and offerings. We are not suffering from a lack of interest or action in looking to make this format addition to our collections, but there is a worn trail of knee jerk reactions under imaginary time pressures for the inflated need of a proven minority. Yes, eBooks are ascending but libraries are not going out in the format shuffle. The hourglass is still mostly full, not nearly empty, when it comes integrating eBooks into our libraries. Let’s take a moment for a deep breath, gather ourselves once more, and reconsider this issue with an eye towards what it brings to our community in a sustainable manner.”

Pull quote: “Recognize this crisis as a reading-ecology problem and a fight for the right to read, not just a public-library problem. It doesn’t matter that this has primarily been about Overdrive, whose customer base is overwhelmingly public libraries (though Overdrive has higher-ed customers, including Yale, Pitt, and my tiny library).  We’re all part of the reading ecology.”

Pull quote: “Library Journal’s Barbara Genco had pointed out in her morning session that ‘the library market—with 169 million users—is one of the largest sleeping giants in the United States’. The giant is waking up, stretching, and feeling its strength. The take-away was clear. As Coates said: ‘publishers need libraries more than libraries need publishers. These issues need to be resolved.’”

Pull quote: “Publishers have contempt for the authors they need to write works, and the readers they need to read works. Publishers are scared that the internet is going to disintermediate their asses into the dustbin of history, and the best response that many of them have come up with is to express their fear through hatred.”

Pull quote: “Ebooks are curb cuts for libraries. For those of us struggling financially, or wiped out after an long day without the time or transportation to get to the local library, or physically disabled and unable to easily move around, being able to take advantage of the tremendous convenience of downloading a book onto a e-reader or mobile phone literally means the difference between reading and not reading. And I realized by the end of the week that this purposeful denial of equal access is what infuriates me most about the actions of publishers against libraries. At the moment when we have the opportunity to improve the lives of many of our neighbors, publishers concern themselves with competitive positioning and an appropriate amount of ‘friction’ in library access.”

Pull quote: “

So, ebooks in public libraries, open access to publicly funded scholarship, quality, properly funded public transit. It’s all the same.

Private interests are attacking the public good. Let’s stop them.”

Pull quote: “’It’s really hard to overstate the impact of Amazon’s particular deal with OverDrive and the shock wave that sent through the industry,’ said Paul Aiken, the executive director of The Authors Guild. ‘The notion that public libraries, for the first time, would be sending their patrons to a commercial website for borrowing books — and not just any commercial website but the website of the entity that has a tight grip on the online marketplace for books — was bound to get a negative reaction,’ he said.”

Pull quote: “However, one upshot of those talks, as LJ reported, was publishers’ concerns that if library loans become too ‘frictionless,’ in other words, do not involve a physical trip to the library to borrow and return a book, that it will eat into their sales. The desire to increase this friction may lead the recalcitrant publishers to demand a business model in which they will only make their ebooks available to public libraries if they are used in the library or if a patron is required to bring their device to the library and load the title onto the device in the library, then bring it home. This would essentially eliminate all the convenience of borrowing ebooks from a home computer or device.”