Thank You, Simon & Schuster

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

As reported earlier today, Simon & Schuster announced that it is converting its pilot on library ebook lending to a national program. Frankly, for some time I thought this day would never come.

Flash back to a wintry day in 2012 in New York City. This was the first American Library Association (ALA) leadership delegation visit to New York City for ebook advocacy. The visit at Simon & Schuster was led by then–ALA President Molly Raphael and included ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Digital Content Working Group Co-chair Bob Wolven, and me. The discussion was dominated by the theoretical problems that library lending might create—with much less said about the beneficial aspects of library involvement in the ebook market such as promoting discovery of works. It was an interesting discussion.

The prospects seemed bleak.

But last year, Simon & Schuster began its pilot, first in New York City and then in other markets. And now all markets. We in ALA-land are happy, as indicated by today’s press release by our president Barbara Stripling. So tonight we’ll celebrate with a fine wine and toast to Carolyn Reidy. But by tomorrow, I will no doubt return to my glass-is-half-empty policy agenda…you know high prices, ebook platforms, etc.

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