As frustrated as libraries are with the high prices, time-limited access and long waitlists, these new embargos have libraries up in arms.
“It’s a war. It’s a battle for what is right and what is fair,” said [Esmé E.] Green, of the Goodnow Library in Sudbury and president of the Massachusetts Library Association.
She argued that publishers have the wrong target. Libraries have played a critical role in introducing the public to digital books, she argues, and creating buzz about new releases. “We embraced the technology, we showed people how to use it, we made it accessible,” Green said.
However, most of all, she said, the idea of an embargo — of limiting access — is antithetical to the whole idea of libraries. The goal of libraries, she said, is to help make knowledge more accessible to those who might not be able to pay for it.
“The library has been helping people for hundreds of years. That’s what we do. And so, if you take that away, you’re actually hurting your communities,” Green said. “It’s not good for our social fabric.”
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