To the editor:
You may or may not be aware that the major publishing houses are actively restricting access to eBooks and E-audiobooks for libraries. Our libraries have a long standing commitment to ensure that all people have access to materials regardless of format. The new models for library digital lending instituted by the publishers will make it difficult us to fulfill our central mission, ensuring access to all.
Under the new lending model with Macmillan single libraries and library systems are going to be limited to a single copy of a new title for a period of eight-weeks. This new model counts the Ohio Digital Library, which includes many of the libraries in the state, as one library. As American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Brown has said, “When a library serving many thousands has only a single copy of a new title in eBook format, it’s the library – not the publisher – that feels the heat. It’s the local library that’s perceived as being unresponsive to community needs.”
Millions of people now use digital content as their preferred or only access to books, music, and movies. Digital content is portable, accessible to people with print disabilities, available anywhere 24/7, and brokered by libraries to provide diverse options to our diverse communities.
Your local libraries, the ALA, the Ohio Library Council, and many others are actively working to reverse these concerning trends in digital access but we need your help. To find more information and sign the petition, please visit https://ebooksforall.org. Remember if you lack internet access or need assistance the staff at your local public library will be happy to help.
Curtis Schafer, director Arcanum Public Library
Stacie Layman, director Bradford Public Library
Susi Halley, director Greenville Public Library
Brenda Miller, director New Madison Public Library
Meme Marlow, director Worch Memorial Public Library