Publishing, Investigative Journalism and a “Rant”: Libraries and E-Content News

February 24, 2012
Posted in: News


This post is the first in a new weekly series. Most every Friday we’ll use these posts to provide a wrap up of some of the most useful, insightful and thought provoking library related e-book and e-content happenings around the web, usually from the last week or so. If we leave recent stories out that that you see as important, please do link them in the comments. Thanks and enjoy! -The Library Renewal Editorial Team

This week’s wrap up starts with a post by K.G. Schneider over at the Free Range Librarian, we shared her thoughts on the issues and complications of ebooks, access and libraries. In her piece she sets the conflict in the larger world of the reading ecology (composed of more than just publishers and libraries), which is a definitely a useful set of perspectives to include. This thoughtful post provides much food for thought into what all sides need to consider, and urges readers to think of answers to these problems. Comments on this post are also worthy of a read, as they provide more fodder for discussion.

Next, we’re highlighting Andromeda Yelton’s post that dives into details around the “bump” given to books via ALA awards like the Caldecott and Newbery. Her investigation reveals and underscores what many see as the lopsided arrangement between publishers and libraries. Yelton mentions Toby Greenwalt’s research into how the Newbery and Caldecott awards provide a significant boost to sales of the winners of these awards. Picking one highlight of this post would difficult but might read this way: Over half the books that the ALA has given awards to since 2010 are not offered to libraries as ebooks.

This week’s next link comes from the Idea Logical Company blog, where we find a post concerning the diverging interests of publishers and libraries. “I think we should all understand that intelligent people on all sides feel that they are fighting for their survival…Our problem is that the interests don’t align and what I think people sometimes have trouble accepting is that it is possible they never will.” A great, thoughtful piece on trying to understand all sides of the access and electronic content issue.

As a bit of a counterpoint, this week Steve Lawson shared his opinions on publishers, and their “hatred” towards libraries. Lawson’s “rant” (his word, not ours) summarizes issues facing public and academic libraries (as well as content producers) and the steps some publishers have taken to limit access to electronic content. Included in the piece is an eye catching and notable tweet shared by Shayera Tangri: “Actual comment from patron: ‘I saw in the news about Penguin pulling ebooks. Why are publishers such poopyheads to you guys?’”.

And finally, a brief blurb about Amazon removing Kindle versions of IPG (Independant Publishers Group) books after the distributor refuses to change their terms. A reminder that it is not just libraries that are learning to navigate this new terrain.

Look forward to library ebook and econtent news roundups here from the Library Renewal team on most Fridays going forward, and find even more links to news throughout the week via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Thoughts on these posts? News to share? Post in the comments!

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