Provide Library Access to eBooks
  • Petitioned Hachette, Harper, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon&Schuster, Random

This petition was delivered to:

Hachette, Harper, Macmillan, Penguin, Simon&Schuster, Random

Provide Library Access to eBooks

    1. Petition by

      M L

There has been a long-standing tradition in the United States for libraries to provide equal public access to educational, recreational and informational materials to their public regardless of a library user/member/patron's origin, age, background, or views.(ALA Library Bill of Rights, Article V)

In addition, Article V of the American Library Association Bill of Rights states:

"Library services that involve the provision of information, regardless of format, technology, or method of delivery, should be made available to all library users on an equal and equitable basis. Charging fees for the use of library collections, services, programs, or facilities that were purchased with public funds raises barriers to access. Such fees effectively abridge or deny access for some members of the community because they reinforce distinctions among users based on their ability and willingness to pay."

Just as libraries in the United States follow specific policies for eliminating economic barriers to information access, major publishers in the United States should find a way to work with libraries to provide equal access to libraries, their users/members/patrons via a fair and uniform digital rights management lending policy.

Libraries and major publishers have a long and illustrious history of working together to provide library patrons with all manner of print materials as well as digital content on CDs and DVDs. We petition Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penquin Group and Simon & Schuster to carefully consider the ramifications of withholding eContent from library users/members/patrons.

While we applaud Random House and the multitude of medium and small publishers of eBooks who continue to provide eBooks to libraries, we ask them likewise to consider the ramifications of changing the current model of library lending policies.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Samuel Rebelsky GRINNELL, IA
      • over 2 years ago

      I appreciate the value of Public Libraries. I also make use of my library for borrowing ebooks. (I also buy both physical and electronic books.)

    • Loretta Brickley ANAMOSA, IA
      • over 2 years ago

      I feel everyone should be able to choose the media for reading materials, I have a nook and have purchased many books after reading a e-book.

      Thank You

      Loretta Brickley

      Children's Librarian

      Anamosa Library

      Anamosa, Iowa

    • Margaret Miles FAIRFAX, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Library patrons should have access to eBooks, the same way they have had access to print books for centuries. Making eBooks available to libraries does not hurt publishers' ability to sell their product; it makes items more available.

    • Joan Stuart NEW VIRGINIA, IA
      • over 2 years ago

      It is important for libraries to keep up with modern technology. Providing access to e-books is part of that technology.

    • Mustafa Hammouda GRINNELL, IA
      • over 2 years ago

      I am signing out of concern for the health of both libraries and publishing companies. Without publishers, we would have a hard time getting books published. Without libraries, we would have a hard time getting books to all but the most economically privileged. The negative impact this move will have on libraries is obvious. Simply, it is that much more difficult to get get books into the hands of patrons. The effect that this could have on publishing companies may be less obvious, but is part of a larger problem. Traditional media companies which ignore the fact that new and more efficient distribution models require new and more efficient business models do so at their own peril. I would urge the publishing companies to refer to the state of the music industry if this seems a dubious claim. The last thing a publishing company should be doing right now is removing their products from the distribution stream that will likely comprise a steadily larger share of their revenues for the foreseeable future.

      All this, without even mentioning the fact that they charge very nearly the same prices for their ebooks without spending a dime on shipping or printing. This move seems like a fairly predictable knee-jerk reaction from an industry failing to seize a once in a lifetime opportunity for fear of having to do something new.

      Please, stop hurting libraries, and stop hurting yourselves. If you are a publishing executive, it is a brave new world out there; and you have the unique chance to shape your industry for years to come. You will gain nothing, and come out the loser by fighting the inevitable.

      Thank You,

      Mustafa Hammouda

      Circulation Clerk

      Drake Community Library

      Grinnell, IA


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