January 20, 2022

Urban Libraries Council Publishes Briefing Paper on Ebooks in Libraries

Posted online today on the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) web site.

What’s Available:

1. Two Page Summary (PDF)

2. Complete Briefing Paper: “Libraries, Publishers and Public Access to E-Books” (4 pages; PDF)

The documents were prepared by ULC in collaboration with The Hatcher Group, a public affairs communications firm located in Bethesda, MD.

From the ULC Web Site About the Intended Audience:

The paper is aimed squarely at policy makers, and “can be used as resources to educate local, national and civic leaders in your community”.

The key messages in the paper are:

  • Equal access to materials
  • Publishers’ policies are preventing the public from accessing e-books
  • Borrowing e-books from libraries is increasingly popular
  • Some book publishers are denying libraries access to e-books, while others significantly overprice titles

The briefing paper is a follow-up to a May 3, 2013 webinar from Urban Libraries Council. You can listen to it here.

Quick Comment From Gary

We were surprised not to find any mention of one or two real-world examples where political leaders/policymakers have shown an interest and TAKEN ACTION to investigate ebook access and pricing as it relates to libraries.

1. In Montgomery County, MD. the county board has passed legislation to investigate ebook/library pricing.

Worth noting, Montgomery County is where The Hatcher Group, the public affairs firm who worked with ULC to prepare and publish the briefing paper is located. 

The other example is found in Connecticut where the state legislature has passed and the governor has signed legislation to look into the topic.

Additional Info

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.