September 29, 2016

AAP Responds to ALA Criticism of Big Six Ebook Policies


The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today issued a response to American Library Association (ALA) President Maureen Sullivan’s open letter, which on Monday sharply criticized the ongoing refusal of several major publishers to sell ebooks to libraries.

The AAP’s response counters that “publishers support the concept of e-lending but must solve a breadth of complex technological, operational, financial and other challenges to make it a reality.” Individual publishers are working to address these challenges, and antitrust laws prohibit publishers from convening to find common solutions to these emerging issues, the statement argues. It goes on to question the timing of the open letter, noting that the AAP had scheduled a meeting between ALA and more than 100 representatives from the publishing community in a few days.

The full statement is below:

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On October 14, 2015 Library Journal, School Library Journal, and thousands of library professionals from around the world gathered for the 6th annual Digital Shift virtual conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners. Now available on-demand, this year’s program provides actionable answers to some of the biggest questions our profession faces for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public and features thought-provoking keynotes from John Palfrey, author of BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, and Denise Jacobs, tech leader, author, and creativity evangelist.
Matt Enis About Matt Enis

Matt Enis (; @matthewenis on Twitter) is Associate Editor, Technology for Library Journal.


  1. I think Maureen Sullivan’s action and letter was appropriate. Molly Raphael reached out to the publishers, not vice versa. The publishers have done nothing but stall and make excuses such as in the letter above. ALA and the Library community have been too nice for too long. Again I say approach Jeff Bezos and seriously see how libraries can buy e-books from Amazon at the prices paid by Kindle owners; iPad users, etc.

  2. More empirical research on the effect of a big six can help arise new key points on this topic. You share very good information Great job Matt.