The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s $4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) has helped about 20 percent of U.S. libraries make improvements to publicly available technology resources and digital literacy within their communities, according to a report released on Monday by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).
ALA Highlights Benefits of Federal Broadband Funding, Argues that E-Rate Must Be Enhanced to Sustain Progress
Last week, more than 40 of the American Library Association’s 57 state and regional chapters signed a joint statement opposing the pricing and licensing terms that publishers and distributors have established for the sale of ebooks to libraries. “Libraries, like other consumers, should be free to buy any published e-content at competitive prices, to keep these items in their collection, and to loan them to their patrons,” reads a portion of the statement.
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 American Library Association (ALA) on Friday denounced Hachette Book Group’s decision to implement steep price increases on its back-catalog of ebooks sold to the library market. OverDrive broke the news to its customers in an email on September 13, stating that “Hachette will be raising its eBook prices on October 1, 2012 on their currently available eBook catalog (~3,500 eBook titles with release dates of April 2010 and earlier). On average prices will increase 220 percent.” ALA President Maureen Sullivan expressed disappointment at Hachette’s choice, noting that ALA had believed that the publisher was moving toward more favorable terms for libraries.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a $291,178 grant to the Public Library Association (PLA) to develop an online collection of digital literacy resources. The two year grant, which was given via the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, will help PLA partner with the American Library Association (ALA)’s Office for Information [...]
Baker & Taylor announced on May 22 that the latest release of its Axis 360 digital media platform includes accessibility functions that will allow visually-impaired patrons to use a library’s digital collections. The platform is now compatible with several leading assistive screen-reader technologies, including JAWS (Job Access with Speech), Window-Eyes, NVDA (non-visual desktop access) and System Access To Go.
The American Library Association has partnered with mobile phone marketing and outreach provider Mobile Commons to launch a new text message alert and advocacy service for librarians. Each month, subscribers will receive an estimated 2 to 3 text message action alerts from ALA’s Office of Government Relations. The messages will give subscribers talking points on a specific, timely issue, and then offer the option of automatically making a toll-free call to the offices of their legislators.
This article has been updated to include information about the Amash amendment and the fate of the bill. Just because SOPA and PIPA seem to be dead in the water doesn’t mean legislative attempts to limit privacy are over. H.R. 3523, The Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), passed the House of [...]