Yes I’m Back: The Library Ebook Problem Is Not Fully Solved

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

I’ve been gone for a while. Not because the library ebook issue is fully resolved… Not because I’ve been in Tahiti for two months (I wish). Just swamped with urgent (but not necessarily important) matters.

Well, I’m back now—just in time for the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas. First of all, the Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) does have an update session and panel at our usual time of Saturday, 1:00 p.m. in the Convention Center rooms N255 & 257. The session will begin with an overall update and future plans by DCWG co-chair Sari Feldman (and incoming ALA President-elect) and yours truly. The co-chairs complete three years of service and rotate off the DCWG, and so we’ll talk a bit about where the DCWG goes from here.

Most of the session comprises the panel “Digital Content 2020: What’s Important?” with speakers James Neal, University Librarian at Columbia University, and Paige Bentley-Flannery, a Community Librarian at Deschutes (Oregon) Public Library—covering the spectrum from children’s needs to the work of research institutions. This session promises to be thought provoking, and if you are in town for the conference I hope you can join us.

The next item is the recent publication of the “Digital Discoveries” supplement to American Libraries magazine, June 2014, which was noted in Digital Book World. While I encourage you to take a look at the whole issue, I’d like to highlight for Digital Book World readers an article by Roger Rosen, CEO of Rosen Publishing, who writes about the school library ebook market. ALA Past President Molly Raphael offers a look back on the three years of challenges in the library ebook space from her position as one of the initial library leaders in our advocacy. We now have print copies, and so you can pick one up at the conference.

Now at the three year mark and with a change in co-chairs imminent, the DCWG is in the midst of a transition. While we are pleased with the recognition that ALA has had important impact, such as described in Andrew Albanese’s recent article, we all recognize that the current situation is far from ideal. Once we retool our strategy and plans, look for us this fall and beyond on the streets of New York City and elsewhere.

Expert Publishing Blog
Alan S. Inouye

About Alan S. Inouye

Alan S. Inouye is director of the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) of the American Library Association (ALA), based in Washington, D.C. Since 2011, he also serves as the program manager of ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Initiative. Prior to ALA, Alan was the coordinator of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee in the Executive Office of the President for three years. Earlier, Alan served as a study director at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academy of Sciences for seven years. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.

One thought on “Yes I’m Back: The Library Ebook Problem Is Not Fully Solved

  1. Yoav Lorch

    Thanks, Alan.
    I would also recommend a panel discussion on ‘leading with ebooks’ at the coming ALA. Very relevant for those interested in ebooks in libraries. Details below.

    Join our panel of librarians, publishers, and thought leaders in a dynamic exchange of ideas for advancing ebook services in libraries.
    Sunday, June 29th, Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N252, ​3:30 p.m.
    Panelists include ebook innovator Jamie LaRue (former director of Douglas County Libraries, CO), award–winning librarians Terry Kirchner (Westchester Library System, NY) and Alice Knapp (The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT), representatives from two library-friendly publishers, Michael Rockliff (Workman) and Stuart Smith (Open Road Media), and writer-turned-entrepreneur Yoav Lorch (Total BooX). The panel is moderated by Mirela Roncevic, co-editor of ALA’s journal eContent Quarterly.



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