January 21, 2022

eBooks For Libraries Web Site Relaunches, Focus is Now Public Awareness About Issues

The eBooks For Libraries web site, sponsored by Library Renewal and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas, has relaunched and will now provide public awareness and news about ebooks for libraries.

David Lee King writes, “Our goal isn’t to complain, but to share information about the current ebook landscape, and how it affects libraries. We’ll explain current issues, and what they actually MEAN for libraries.”

Here’s David introducing the relaunched site.

Earlier this year, eBooks For Libraries began a petition drive asking the Big 6 publishers to make more ebooks available.

The petition received more than 10,000 signatures and was sent to publishers at the end of June.

According to Gina Millsap, Chief Executive Officer of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the petition received little response from the publishers.

Skip Dye at Random House and Josh Marwell at HarperCollins did send “cordial” acknowledgements after Millsap contacted the leadership at each publisher with a personal note. That was about it.

While it’s sad to learn that the petition could not even get a discussion going, it’s far from surprising.

Millsap also shared this with infoDOCKET:

Our goal was and is to raise awareness of library users as readers, who want to get stories and information in all forms from their local libraries. We don’t want the importance of readers and reading to get lost in all the issues and angst swirling around in the ebook universe. We also want to provide a one-stop source for librarians, trustees, customers and library advocates to find out what’s going on with ebooks and libraries.

Quick Note: We do hope eBooks For Libraries takes some time to explain privacy concerns with ebooks (including borrowing them from the library and reading on a Kindle) with those who visit their site.

Libraries have earned a lot of well-deserved praise for keeping reader records private. We, at the very least, should make users clear about what ebook information is shared and with whom. In other words, be transparent, informative, and clear. That’s all.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.