Monday, 3 June 2013

e-Books in the news again

The world of eBooks and public library lending continues to change and evolve as publishers, retailers, library suppliers and the reading community grapple with the challenges presented by digital formats. In the news this week is the ongoing litigation between the US Justice Department and Apple Inc. which accuses Apple of conspiring with a number of publishers in 2009 to increase eBook prices in an effort to break Amazon’s hold on the eBook market. The trial starts today and will be closely watched as it’s considered by many to be a test of the rules around internet commerce.

Still on eBooks but closer to home and of specific interest to libraries is the work ALIA has been doing to develop a set of key principles to guide the procurement and use of eBooks in Australian libraries. Many of the issues being faced by libraries were summarised in an issues paper published in January. It can be found on the ALIA Site here

Following the release of the issues paper ALIA held a series of Think Tanks so that library professionals could hear about the issues and share experiences and opinions. The most recent Think Tank was held in Sydney last week.

Based on these discussions, ALIA has developed a draft set of key principles to guide the library sector’s response to the changing eBook environment. ALIA is now seeking comments on the draft document.  For more information go to the ALIA site here

ALIA is also planning for an e-book workshop to be held in Adelaide in July.  As soon we have more information about it we will let everyone know.

Jo Freeman
A/Associate Director
Public Library Services

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