Happenings on the Library Ebook Front

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

ALA American Library Association ebooks digital content lendingI’m pleased to bring you some news today from the American Library Association (ALA).

First, I’d like to announce the release of Digital Futures, our fifth supplement to American Libraries magazine, focused on digital content issues. Two members of the publishing community are contributors, both to the report itself and to our guiding theme of “taking action and moving ahead.”

Tim McCall, a former executive with Penguin Books USA, reflects back on the events concerning library ebooks in recent years and forward to the next venue of likely disruption in the ebook market, in his article “Digital Library 2.0.”

Shannon Okey, publisher of Cooperative Press and a board member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, urges closer collaboration between smaller publishers and libraries in “Building out the Book Niches.”

This report includes eight other articles at the intersection of the publishing and library communities. In particular, Carolyn Anthony, Co-chair of ALA’s Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), discusses ALA activities and plans in this area.

With BookExpo America now upon us, I’d like to mention that ALA folks are roaming around the aisles and sessions. For one thing, we are involved in two programs here. On Thursday, ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will moderate the panel “Power of Partnerships: Libraries, Vendors and Publishers” in Javits Center, Room 1E14, 11:00–11:50 am. On Friday, Carolyn Anthony will serve on the panel “Public Libraries, the Publishers’ (Discovery and Revenue) Friend” in Room 1E07, 1:00–1:50 pm. Additionally, ALA Program Director Carrie Russell and I will be around, meeting with a number of publishers. I’d also like to draw your attention to the “Power of Libraries” booth (#1647), which a number of library stakeholders organized, and encourage you to drop by.

Finally, the ALA Annual Conference is just around the corner (time-wise, in late June—not geographically, as it is in San Francisco!). If you happen to be at the conference, we hope that you’ll join us at our program on Sunday morning, 10:30–11:30 am. in Moscone Convention Center, West Building, Room 2018. Yoav Lorch (TotalBooX) and Monica Sendze (Odilo) are featured panelists along with ALA DCWG Co-chairs Erika Linke and Carolyn Anthony.

Thanks for allow me this little update from the library community. I hope to provide some more substantive perspectives soon.

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