“Rhode Islanders Are Fired Up About This” - Libraries Battle Publisher’s Effort to Limit E-Books

Saturday, March 07, 2020

 

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Julie Holden (left) appeared on LIVE with GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle.

Julie Holden with the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) appeared on GoLocal LIVE to speak out against what RILA says is Big Publishing’s “unfair, unconstitutional, and anti-competitive practices that limit libraries’ ability to provide residents, taxpayers, and library patrons with full access to new publications.”

“On November 1st, Macmillan Publishing decided to limit all library systems to only one copy of a new ebook for the first eight weeks of publication — after the eight weeks we could purchase more copies but we just thought that this was unsustainable,” said Holden. “We want to be able to provide as many copies as we want, we want to be able to buy as many copies as we want. “

“So the Rhode Island Library Association and the American Library Association started a campaign to build awareness, to try to fight this embargo,” said Holden. 

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Taking Action

In Rhode Island, legislation has been introduced to address the move by Macmillan — and Holden said the libraries are in talks with Congressman David Cicilline at the federal level to look at the issue from an anti-trust standpoint. 

“We want to provide information to the public. We don’t want to be restricted,” said Holden, who noted that other publishers are taking a “wait and see approach” with the current battle taking place. 

“Rhode Island libraries are part of the Constitution in Rhode Island. Access to everything that the libraries provide is supposed to be upheld in the Constitution,” she said.

Holden noted that there will be more information for the public shortly, including a website and call to action. 

“We have a lot of library users in Rhode Island, they’re fired up about this — they can’t stand the long waiting list, they don’t understand why they have to wait months and months and months to get an e-book. It seems ridiculous," she said. 

Julie Holden with the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) appeared on GoLocal LIVE to speak out against what RILA says is Big Publishing’s “unfair, unconstitutional, and anti-competitive practices that limit libraries’ ability to provide residents, taxpayers, and library patrons with full access to new publications.”

 
 

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