Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseReturning from ALA’s midwinter meeting, which included the annual presentations of the Caldecott and Newbery prizes, PW’s Features Editor Andrew Albanese notes the number of issues facing libraries these days —from budget stress and complex technology, to copyright and legislative issues. “But no issue has loomed larger for libraries than the lending of library e-books,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. At a meeting of the ALA’s Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries, ALA executive director Keith Fiels announced that ALA officials had set up meetings in New York for next week with those publishers currently restricting e-book lending, including Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin.

“I asked Keith where the e-book issue is on ALA’s radar, and he said it was right at the top,” reports Albanese. “He knows that as e-book demand surges, we’re talking about months, not years, before the e-book lending situation becomes a serious issue for library service.”

On the anniversary of the Egyptian uprising against Hosni Mubarak, Rose Fox notes reviews this week of a trio of titles on the “Arab Spring.” She also calls David Creedon’s striking documentary photographs of abandoned Irish rural houses, collected in Ghosts of the Faithful Departed, “sad and beautiful.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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