Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseIn Anaheim this week, the gathered members of the American Library Association conference heard why libraries may be more important than ever, even in the throes of the digital publishing revolution. But what the librarians think – and what they think the publishers think – is that the two sides are headed for a showdown.

“My sense is that the ALA cannot keep saying they are in discussions with publishers, with those discussions leading to programs like Penguin’s being labeled as ‘progress,’ without losing the support of their membership,” reports Andrew Albanese, features editor at Publishers Weekly. “At some point, as one librarian told me, ALA may find they have more to gain in terms of keeping members engaged by leaving the table, and reiterating their foundational beliefs, than by allowing the center of the e-book discussions to shift to terms the community finds unacceptable,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

In reviews, a debut novel is hailed as “a harrowing satire of the Iraq War and an instant classic.” Rose Fox, PW reviews editor, notes, “We say that this debut ‘nails the comedy and the pathos, the boredom and the dread.” Penned by David Abrams (who like his protagonist, served as a public relations officer for the war effort), Fobbit is “the Iraq War’s answer to Catch-22,” Fox says.

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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