By Ivy Anderson, Director, Collection Development & Management

As the UC Libraries explore options for the increased acquisition of e-books, we reaffirm the importance of fair use and equitable access to information, the principles on which all libraries stand. As we work to define suitable e-book licensing terms and models which reflect these principles, we have been struck by the highly restrictive terms under which HarperCollins is making its e-books available to libraries. We’ve also been dismayed by the policies of other publishers that do not allow libraries to make their content widely available to readers in digital formats.  The UC Libraries join with the American Library Association and our public library colleagues in deploring such restrictive policies.  In this complex digital arena now taking shape, we are in critical need of business practices that support the role of libraries as core democratic and educational institutions. We urge all publishers to develop e-book licensing policies that recognize and actively support the essential role that all libraries play in advancing knowledge, promoting civil discourse and fostering an informed citizenry.

For more information, see:

A Limit on Lending E-Books  (New York Times)

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/a-limit-on-lending-e-books/

American Library Association tackles new challenges in the e-environment

http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=5749

EQUACC: ALA’s Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content

http://www.equacc.ala.org/about/