For E-Books To Lend, A Library Goes To Authors

Andrew AlbaneseThe Super Bowl it’s not – librarians and publishers clashing over e-book lending policies may never attract million-dollar advertising packages or superstar singing acts. But at the American Libraries Association midwinter meeting this week in Seattle, the contest proved a riveting one.

Turning the tables on traditional trade publishers, the Douglas County, Colorado system will acquire 10,000 e-book titles from independent and self-publishing service provider Smashwords. Reporting on a panel session organized by the ALA Digital Content Working Group, Andrew Albanese, senior writer at Publishers Weekly, says the audience heard inspiring words from DCL’s e-book evangelist.

“Jamie LaRue sounded very much like a visionary when he suggested that the fundamental e-book distribution model now in play for libraries is simply wrong,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “LaRue advocated for libraries to move away from serving the ‘consumer community’ toward serving ‘the content creator community.’ And, he added, ‘yes, libraries need to own their stuff.’”

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