New From ALA: “Digital Public Library Ecosystem 2023” Report
Digital Public Library Ecosystem 2023
From the American Library Association:
Report authors Rachel Noorda, Ph.D, and Kathi Inman Berens, Ph.D., both professors of book publishing of Portland State University, show how the rise in digital content consumption rates has brought a large group of library patrons and staff into digital content landscape. The report demystifies licensing terms for digital books and explains why flexible licensing terms reduce patron wait times.
“This report is clarifying and simplifying for public library digital content stakeholders,” said Dr. Noorda. “The report’s long-term goal of is to facilitate collaboration between libraries, authors, publishers, distributors, and consumers. The first step toward that is defining key concepts and structures within the system.”
According to the report, three key factors have contributed to confusion about the structure of and access to the digital public library ecosystem:
Essential terms like “reading,” “library use,” and “circulation” should be consistently and transparently defined.
The impact of current digital licensing terms on authors: midlist, bestselling, and self-published.
The role of Big Five publishers in setting licensing terms for public libraries.
How Amazon’s dominance in the audiobooks market influences audiobook library access, impacting audiobook authors, publishers, and narrators.
Gen Z and millennials borrow extensively from digital collections but are less aware that digital library lending apps are connected to their local library.
- Noorda and Inman Berens point out that no individual entity created or caused the complexity within the current ecosystem, which is the result of multiple cycles of investment and innovation by both libraries and publishers. The report offers informed solutions and pathways to collaboration between all stakeholders.
The report builds on earlier cohort-specific analysis the authors conducted in ALA’s previous report, Gen Z and Millennials: How They Use Public Libraries and Identify Through Media Use.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.