Update: Library E-Book Lending Legislation and Partnerships | Authors Alliance

“Over the course of the past year, three state legislatures have introduced legislation that would impose limits on a publisher’s ability to sell e-books to libraries at a high cost. Under the current licensing model, libraries can pay as much as $60 per title for an e-book license, which often have very restrictive terms, whereas consumers can purchase an e-book license for the same title at a fraction of the cost. The first of these bills was passed in Maryland, and the New York state legislature has also recently approved the New York bill. A bill in Rhode Island is currently pending. Additionally, groups in Connecticut, Texas, Virginia, and Washington have reportedly begun advocating for similar legislation. …”

New digital platform empowers public libraries and patrons, boosts equitable access to knowledge – Knight Foundation

“A powerful partnership of industry leaders today announced The Palace Project, a transformational, library-centered platform for digital content and services.   

The Palace Project, with a $5 million award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to LYRASIS, and in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), will develop and scale a robust suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and patrons.   

The Palace Project will support the mission of public libraries by providing equitable access to digital knowledge, bolstering the direct relationship between libraries and patrons, and protecting patron privacy by enabling libraries to serve content to patrons from all the major e-content providers.  …”

New Digital Platform Empowers Public Libraries and Patrons, Boosts Equitable Access to Knowledge | DPLA

“A powerful partnership of industry leaders today announced The Palace Project, a transformational, library-centered platform for digital content and services.  

The Palace Project, with a $5 million investment by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for LYRASIS, and in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), will develop and scale a robust suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and patrons.  …”

Amazon Publishing Partners with DPLA to Share Content — Readers First

“The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) released important library digital content news today:

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement with Amazon Publishing to make all of the approximately 10,000 Amazon Publishing ebooks and audiobooks available to libraries and their patrons through the DPLA Exchange, the only not-for-profit, library-centered content marketplace. This marks the first time that ebooks from Amazon Publishing have been made available to libraries. Like our previous publisher arrangements, this agreement furthers our mission to expand equitable access to ebooks and audiobooks while protecting library patron privacy.

Amazon Publishing titles will begin to be available in the DPLA Exchange via four licensing models this summer; we expect that libraries will be able to access all of the Amazon Publishing titles by the end of the year:

Unlimited, one user at a time access, two-year license

Bundles of 40 lends, available with a maximum of 10 simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends

Bundles of five lends, available simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends

26 lends, one user at a time access, the lesser of two years or 26 lends license …”

University Libraries join the Digital Public Library of America | University Libraries | University of Colorado Boulder

“Thousands of historic collection items held by the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries are now available for researchers to access through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). 

 

The DPLA makes millions of materials from libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions across the United States available through one searchable database. The University Libraries partnered with the DPLA’s Colorado-Wyoming service hub, the Plains to Peaks Collective (PPC), effectively broadening the scope of complimentary regional collections. …”

The DPLA Exchange Expands Offerings — Readers First

“Micah May, Director of Ebooks Services for the Digital Public Library of American, has announced an increase in ebooks and digital audiobook offerings and the number of publishers offering its three flexible licensing models. RF notes with interest the expansion in offerings for the Big 5 and hopes some of the might adopt the flexible offerings, which greatly improve libraries’ ability to offer content efficiently. Notable for its absence among the Big 5 is Penguin Random House. RF looks forward to a day when PRH might also work with DPLA and hopes it might be soon….”

Boston Public Library makes historical images available for use in Wikipedia | Boston Public Library

“In celebration of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Boston Public Library has uploaded more than 8,000 historical photographs from its archival collections to Wikimedia Commons. These images include some of the library’s most important photographic collections, and contribute to the single largest batch of uploads ever contributed to Wikimedia Commons. By uploading these public domain images, BPL is making them available so that they can be freely used to enhance Wikipedia articles, re-printed in publications, or incorporated in student projects and papers. …”

Amazon working on new system to license ebooks to public libraries – Good e-Reader

“Amazon has generally been reluctant to allow libraries to have access to its ebooks, preferring instead to make those available via its own Kindle ebook store. Public advocacy groups and libraries however have taken strong exception to this and are demanding easy availability of the Amazon titles via libraries to allow the public to have easy access to the information contained therein.

Fortunately for book lovers, Amazon indicated it is deliberating licensing its digital titles to libraries though any concrete development on this is yet to be seen on the ground. The Hill however did confirm the Digital Public Library of America is discussing with Amazon Publishing on this though no one knows for sure how soon we can see the content being available in public libraries.

Michele Kimpton, director of business development and senior strategist for the Digital Public Library of America also confirmed to Publisher’s Weekly they have been discussing this with Amazon Publishing and that the talks have been going on since spring. Kimpton however said they have made good progress on this so far so that the Amazon titles can well be seen in libraries on the DPLA exchange by early 2021 itself. That said, some outstanding issues still remain and are being worked upon….”

Amazon Publishing in Talks to Offer E-books to Public Libraries

“The potential deal would be a breakthrough moment in the library e-book market as Amazon currently does not make its digital content available to libraries. It would also be a major coup for the Digital Public Library of America’s upstart e-book platform and its SimplyE library reading app….”

 

 

Amazon under pressure to lift ban on e-book library sales | TheHill

“Amazon’s refusal to sell e-books published in-house to libraries is sparking backlash as demand for digital content spikes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Librarians and advocacy groups are pushing for the tech giant to license its published e-books to libraries for distribution, arguing the company’s self-imposed ban significantly decreases public access to information.

“You shouldn’t have to have a credit card in order to be an informed citizen,” Michael Blackwell, director of St. Mary’s County Library in Maryland, told The Hill. “It’s vital that books continue to be a source of information and that those books should be democratically discovered through libraries.”

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A petition launched last week by Fight for the Future, a tech advocacy group, calls for Congress to pursue an antitrust investigation and legislative action against Amazon for its ban on selling e-books to libraries. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had nearly 13,000 signatures….

Amazon has indicated it is in discussions to allow its e-books to be licensed by libraries, but so far the public institutions are unable to access Amazon’s digital titles.

Issues surrounding library e-books go beyond Amazon. Traditional publishers have become increasingly restrictive regarding e-books, Blackwell said, but they at least offer options for libraries to license and distribute those books.

The crux of the issue is how e-books are sold. Whereas libraries can lend out physical copies of purchased books for as long as they hold up, libraries must adhere to licensing agreements that constrain how long they can keep e-books in circulation.

The top publishing firms typically have two-year licensing contacts for library e-books, with options to extend for another two years, said Alan S. Inouye, senior director of public policy and government relations at the American Library Association.

But unlike their traditional publishing peers, Amazon does not allow libraries to purchase the e-books it publishes, leaving no option for libraries to access what Amazon says is “over 1 million digital titles” that consumers “won’t find anywhere else.”…”

Black Women’s Suffrage | DPLA

“The Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection is a collaborative project to provide digital access to materials documenting the roles and experiences of Black Women in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and, more broadly, women’s rights, voting rights, and civic activism between the 1850s and 1960.

The materials in this collection include photographs, correspondence, speeches, event programs, publications, oral histories, and other artifacts….”

DPLA announces new partnerships with five libraries and archives to build national digital Black women’s suffrage collection | DPLA

“Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) today announced a set of partnerships with the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library; Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston, South Carolina; Tuskegee University; the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University; and Southern California Library to collaborate on the creation of a national digital collection that highlights the roles and experiences of Black women in the women’s suffrage movement, as well as Black women’s history of activism, as part of the centennial celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment. …”

DPLA partners with state libraries to offer statewide ebooks access | DPLA

“Earlier this month, the DPLA ebooks team met virtually with state librarians from across the country as part of the annual spring COSLA members’ meeting. We enjoyed this opportunity to hear directly from state libraries about their ebook needs, as well as from states who have already adopted SimplyE about how it is helping them expand critical access to ebooks for people across their states. As Washington State Librarian and COSLA ebook engagement group chair Cindy Aden said, “I am happy to see so many COSLA members working with SImplyE. Ebooks have never been more important, as libraries remain closed. Additionally, though, it’s clear that libraries must address the economic issues around ebooks and find a way to successfully work with the entire publishing ecosystem to find licensing models that work for everyone. DPLA and SimplyE give libraries some tools to explore better options.”

SimplyE is an open-source ebook platform developed by the New York Public Library. Over the past year, we’ve seen a wave of interest in SimplyE from libraries who want to provide more diverse content for more people while maintaining control over the patron experience and protecting patron privacy. There are currently more than 150 library systems across the country that have launched SimplyE, and it’s being tested and deployed in Washington, Connecticut, Texas, Georgia, and Montana. In addition, Rhode Island, Hawaii, the Maryland digital consortia, and American Samoa have begun the process of rolling out the platform. We have been working closely with these libraries to put together statewide ebook collections that include a wide variety of materials from different providers, including ebooks with flexible licensing terms and public domain works available through the DPLA Exchange. …”

Knight Foundation invests in Digital Public Library of America to help nation’s public libraries serve communities with technology – Knight Foundation

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a $750,000 investment in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to create a national cohort of public library leaders and technologists. The group will work together to help advance  libraries’ use of digital technologies….”

DPLA cultural artifacts coming to Wikipedia through new collaboration with Wikimedia Foundation | DPLA

“In an effort to make artifacts from cultural heritage institutions more accessible to all, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the national aggregator of digital heritage collections, and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, are collaborating to incorporate DPLA’s cultural artifacts into Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Funded by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this collaboration will expand the availability of artifacts such as books, maps, government documents, photos, and more from U.S. cultural heritage institutions across the web.  …”