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'ALA President's Open Letter on Ebooks and Publishers Doesn't Get Us Very Far'

Maureen Sullivan, ALA president, just posted an Open Letter to America's Publishers. Go read it, then come back and discuss.

On the one hand, it's a fine letter, addressing all the appropriate stuff. On the other hand ... I think I'm confused. Here's why:

The letter doesn't really seem to be addressed to America's Publishers. Instead, it seems to be addressed to libraries and librarians. Most of the letter gives the normal "aren't libraries awesome" stuff.

And then, in the last two paragraphs, that's when the letter actually gets to the point. Here's our big call to action:

"We librarians cannot stand by and do nothing while some publishers deepen the digital divide. We cannot wait passively while some publishers deny access to our cultural record. We must speak out on behalf of today's-and tomorrow's-readers. The library community demands meaningful change and creative solutions that serve libraries and our readers who rightfully expect the same access to e-books as they have to printed books." ...

Did I miss something? Our big directive from ALA is this:

* Librarians cannot stand by and do nothing

* We can't wait passively

* We must speak out

* Library community demands change

Help me out here-what could we as libraries and librarians do that is more than just "speaking out?" Let's create some better, more specific next steps for ALA. I think we can do better than this!

-Posted by David Lee King at www. …

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