Kansas is in the forefront of the campaign to bring more eBooks to more Libraries.
Last summer I reported that Kansas was one of the partners in a venture with 3M to find “a solution to digital libraries, and will partner with cutting edge local libraries to explore and move forward the digital library effort.”
The new digital library will go into beta testing this summer, and 3M has revealed the names of some of the libraries, including Saint Paul Public Library (MN), Bergen County Cooperative Library System (NJ), Maricopa County Library District (AZ), Douglas County Libraries (CO), Darien Library (CT), Richland County Public Library (SC), and the State Library of Kansas on behalf of the Kansas Digital Library Consortium.
I also reported last June that “According to Library Journal, June 21 Post:
The state librarian of Kansas, with the backing of state attorney general’s office, is planning to terminate the Kansas Digital Library Consortium’s contract with ebook vendor OverDrive and is asserting the bold argument that the consortium has purchased, not licensed, its ebook content from OverDrive and, therefore, has the right to transfer the content to a new service provider.
Now, Executive Director Gina Millsap, Topeka & Shawnee County (KS) Public Library, has launched …
… a new grassroots campaign targeted at libraries, readers and communities around the country. I want you to be among the first to add your names to the petition. Here’s the link: ebooksforlibraries.com.
The intent is positive – to educate readers and library users about the current ebook market and how libraries may currently purchase ebooks and to establish a way for readers, who are also library users, to become familiar with and to give feedback to publishers. Since most readers don’t read by publisher brand, (“I want everything you have published by Random House” isn’t something we typically hear) we think this could be a good thing for publishers and libraries.
We are also encouraging librarians to educate themselves, their boards and their customers about the current ebook situation so that they can speak about it knowledgeably and civilly and ultimately, make good decisions for their libraries and readers.
If libraries are ever going to be as significant a presence in the eBook market as they have always been in the pBook market, we all need to take collective action to let our opinions and demands be known.