Bestselling authors call for library ebook lending

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult helped kick off the campaign.

Today, Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, announced the launch of “Authors for Library Ebooks,” a new initiative that asks authors to stand with libraries in their quest for equitable access to e-books. Bestselling authors Cory Doctorow, Ursula K. Le Guin and Jodi Picoult are helping kick off the campaign.

The campaign represents an extension of the ALA’s advocacy strategy to ensure all people have access to the world’s knowledge and literature through our nation’s libraries—regardless of format. Over the past 18 months, ALA leaders have met with major publishers, distributors, authors and representative associations to seek sustainable solutions for library e-book lending.

Libraries support authors in a range of ways, including:

  • Exposure. Libraries help authors get noticed through author events, book clubs, readers advisory and features on library websites;
  • Sales. Research shows that library loans encourage people to buy books. Many libraries now even provide an option for people to click and “buy-it-now” from their websites.
  • Respect. Libraries honor authors’ work by protecting copyright and paying for the content they lend.
  • Love of reading. Libraries help grow readers – and writers.

“My first job was at a library, and one of the things that I remember so clearly is the wide range of people who came in our doors every day. Young, old, rich, poor—libraries encourage exploration and a love of reading,” Picoult said. “Whether it’s a digital file or a paper copy, I want readers to find my books—and all books—in their libraries! I stand with libraries—and I invite other authors to join me in the campaign for library e-books for all.”

Developed by the ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Working Group, the Authors for Library E-books campaign encourages authors to sign on to a statement of shared values, to discuss the issue with their publishers, and raise awareness of their concerns through their websites, social media and other communications channels.

Get involved in the campaign by following @Authors4LE and using the hashtag #A4LE. To learn more, visit Authors for Library Ebooks.

Jazzy Wright is the Press Officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office. Email her at jwright@alawash.org.

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  1. [...] of the “Authors for Library eBooks” initiative. A District Dispatch blog post, “Bestselling authors call for library ebook lending,” quotes Jodi Picoult: “Whether it’s a digital file or a paper copy, I want readers [...]

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