Core Ebooks Interest Group

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Purpose: Provides a regular forum for discussion and to meet at Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings. Core represents a large segment of libraries and can be influential with publishers and vendors to benefit libraries and library users as the ebook landscape evolves. Core welcomes any type of library or library agency, as well as consortia, to join this group.

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  • 1.  An ebook advocacy site

    Posted Feb 15, 2024 01:23 PM

    Hi all,


    Library Futures has launched the ebooksforus site, creating a fun way to explore a problem that is very far from fun: the Big 5 Publishers' (and many other publishers of academic texts) unfair licensing terms for libraries, terms which are making the sharing of digital content unsustainable for academic, school, and public libraries.

    The site has comics and games. The games help teach lessons about the unfair terms and will certainly surprise the public if not librarians familiar with the problem. The cost, "exploding licenses," restrictive terms, and sharing of library readers' checkouts all get enjoyable treatment, while links to articles provide background information. Some good template state ebook legislation is provided. A link to the ebookstudygroup, where Kyle Courtney and Juliya Ziskina will customize state legislation, is helpful. The site is well-worth a visit. We can hope that it will become part of a larger campaign to bring further attention to the need to change state, and ultimately federal laws to give library readers a fair shake.

    Meanwhile it is [always] worth mentioning that while we fight for fair licenses, an even larger conflict rages-one in which publishers and librarians are allies: book banning. In "Book Banning Goes Digital: Libraries Suspending Their E-Book Services and the Complications It Poses for First Amendment Doctrine," Catherine E. Ferri explores how the efforts to ban ebook services complicates First Amendment freedoms to read. We in libraries have long noted that ebooks are a censor's dream: imagine the joy they would feel taking out thousands of books at once, even if they would miss the pleasure they get from burning physical books. Check out the article. From the abstract:

    However, a number of conservative states are attempting to restrict e-book services via legislation or blanket suspensions. This Note aims to make sense of e-book services and book banning against the backdrop of the First Amendment. Part I argues e-book services should be considered extensions of public libraries and public school libraries. It draws analogies from other, more established areas of law to propose e-book services are a part of the library under a nexus theory or another theory of government reliance. Part II argues banning or suspending a full e-book service is comparable to banning or suspending access to a whole section of the library to target one book-a violation of the First Amendment because it is politically motivated viewpoint discrimination.

    All best!





    Michael Blackwell

    Director, St Mary's County Library

    23630 Hayden Farm Lane

    Leonardtown, MD 20650

    301-475-2151 x5013

    Cell phone:  301-904-3048


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