As ever, the world of e-books changes on a weekly basis. I highlight some news items and stories about e-books and libraries in my scoop.it page (which should be accessible in public libraries even where restrictions are in place, and you can sign up to follow it), but there’s been a little flurry of news recently so I thought I’d do a round up here.
IFLA recently held a day seminar in London on “E-books in libraries: a global question of survival.” I wasn’t able to attend but I followed some of the tweets and the presentations are now available on the CILIP website. CILIP Wales have also blogged in detail about the day. During the day the Swedish approach was mentioned quite a bit – it appears that the Swedish Library Association has taken quite a robust stance regarding e-book lending in public libraries with a strong campaign, which did bring the publishers back to negotiate with them apparently. New Zealand also apparently has a successful e-book offer in public libraries, and as this page notes, they, like Wales, have a consortium approach to the offer.
Internationally, there is a law suit in Europe against Amazon because of alleged breaches of VAT rules on e-books in its Luxembourg HQ, and in America with independent booksellers challenging Amazon and ‘the big six’ publishers who they claim “unreasonably restrain trade and commerce in the market for ebooks”.
There was also the announcement in America of the first digital-only library where there are no physical books.
Amazon also launched the, somewhat bizzare, concept of a ‘second hand’ e-book. Futurebook.net ponders the implications.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, Shelf Free, an independent group of library staff, conducted a survey and found that 85% of the top 50 most borrowed adult fiction books of 2012 are not available to public libraries to buy as e-books for lending.
We are also awaiting the outcome of the Westminster Government’s e-lending review which is due in the spring – could be any time now I suppose.
And finally, if you want to follow the topic of e-books in libraries there are two JISCmail email lists you can subscribe to: lis-e-books for academic libraries, and lis-pub-ebooks for public libraries.