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.