American Library Association

Could Selling A Used Book Become Illegal?
December 4, 2012

Most of us have probably sold an old book at a yard sale, on eBay, given it to a library, or some such thing. We probably never gave it a second thought. Maybe we need to. Maybe we are criminals, violating copyright law.

A case has come before the Supreme Court that could turn some of our assumptions upside down, at least as pertains to books produced overseas. Take that, Gutenberg! You better read Johannes' copyright notice before you sell your copy of his bible.

ALA’s gripes to publishers dance around the e-library world’s Problem #1—not enough money for e-books
September 25, 2012

I’m still borrowing e-books from public libraries. I loved the digital edition of the late Louis Auchincloss’s memoirs that popped up when I was browsing the electronic stacks of a library system near me here in Northern Virginia.

Public libraries at their best can be Serendipity Central.

But I rely much less these days on library books than before. Too often, some major e-books are AWOL from library collections or, as documented earlier this year by the Washington Post, have long waiting lists.

Hachette to Raise E-Book Prices to OverDrive Library Customers Average of 220%
September 14, 2012

Starting Oct. 1, Hachette will be raising the prices it charges OverDrive library customers for e-books by an average of 220%, according to an email from OverDrive to its customers obtained by Library Journal’s InfoDOCKET.

Libraries buying e-books will have to lock in their orders by the end of Sept. to be able to buy e-books at their current prices.

This is how a recent article about author Beth Kephart in her college alumni magazine, The Pennsylvania Gazette, opened. In fact, this is something pretty much everyone who has ever spent time with Beth Kephart, or heard her give a talk or lead a writing workshop says about her.  We say this to make ourselves feel better, to justify why we are not as productive as this prolific and talented writer. In the last 14 years of nearly sleepless nights, in addition to raising a son, maintaining a happy marriage, dancing, exercising and doing the mundane activities of life, Kephart has written and published 14 books, with three more coming out in the next 18 months.

New Springer white paper provides fresh insights for librarians into eBook RoI
June 25, 2012

A new white paper recently released by Springer, in partnership with Publishers Communication Group (PCG), entitled Scholarly eBooks: Understanding the Return on Investment for Libraries, explores how libraries might determine the value of eBooks, and why it is important to do so. The paper provides a broad view of the current state of eBook valuation, the implications of this measurement for the library community and the challenges that face those who are tracking these metrics.

Gale Supports Lifelong Learning with New Online Education Program for Public Library Patrons
June 25, 2012

Farmington Hills, Mich., June 19, 2012 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced a new program, ed2go for public libraries, that brings turnkey online training and education solutions to the public library market. ed2go, also part of Cengage Learning, provides online training courses for the adult education, career, and corporate training markets through partnerships with colleges, universities, community-based organizations and now through public libraries.

BookExpo America Report: Book Publishing Begins Anew as a Startup and Growth Industry
June 8, 2012

Over the decades that I have been going to BEA and its predecessor, “The ABA Show,” a full regime of floor walking was at the base of the experience. This was followed by a full box or two of books that went out the expo door with the freight forwarder of the year. It became the ballast that found its way to my garage and shelves.

This year I came away with a USB stick in my pocket and 10 new titles on it in e-Book format. A few choice paperbacks in my carry-all.  No cartons of books—too much work. But I also noticed that something more important had changed aside from my take-aways:

In book publishing, there is no element of fundamental practice and best practice that is not simultaneously under siege by opportunistic practice.