May 17, 2022

Library E-Books: “Simplify, Unify, Diversify: an Interview with Jessica Want, New York Public Library”

A new interview with NYPL’s Jessica Want, Director, Digital Products at New York Public Library, published by the Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM) Advisory Committee, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

From the Introduction to the Interview:

Alongside growing concern in the United States and Canada about the conditions imposed on libraries looking to lend eBooks, there are also efforts to reduce dependency on third party distributors by building ‘library-controlled’ platforms.

One such effort is Library Simplified, a collaboration between New York Public Library, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and Lyrasis.

The interview consists of seven questions and answers. Here’s one of them.

Q. What will the nationwide platform do?

Want: In short, as a shared nationwide platform, Library Simplified, will unify libraries as a sector to be able to: i) negotiate with vendors and, hopefully, publishers, ii) operate within a simpler, unified eBooks system; iii) re-establish a personal relationship with our own patrons; iv) reclaim ownership of the collections that they have paid for but are very much ‘controlled’ by the vendors; v) pay attention to those patrons with high or special needs, especially those with reading disabilities; and iv) develop a library-centric ‘eReading Room’, where our patrons can discover the pleasure of reading without constant distractions and ‘upselling’ or other promotions.

Direct to Complete Interview

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.