[Libs-Or] Fwd: [alacoun] Meetings in NYC with Publishers

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 11:58:17 PDT 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Molly Raphael <mraphael at rapgroup.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Subject: [alacoun] Meetings in NYC with Publishers
To: ALA Council <alacoun at ala.org>

Dear Colleagues:

We wanted to be sure you saw President Maureen Sullivan's report on our
visits at the end of last week with the AAP and some publishers.  Here's
the link:

The text is posted below as well.


*Molly Raphael*
*Immediate Past President*
*American Library Association*
*mraphael at rapgroup.com*
Focus on the Future
  Submitted by Beverly
Tue, 10/02/2012 - 13:34
  [image: Maureen Sullivan at the office of the Association of American

ALA President Maureen Sullivan at the office of the Association of American
Publishers on September 27.

[image: The ALA delegation at Rosen Publishing]

At Rosen Publishing: Company President Roger Rosen (left), Maureen
Sullivan, Rosen Vice-President of Technology John Knittel, Barbara
Stripling, Molly Raphael, Bob Wolven, and Alan Inouye.

  By Maureen Sullivan

Last week, I led an ALA delegation to New York City to meet with publishers
to discuss the many concerns of the library community about ebook
publishing. Uppermost in our minds were the ebook concerns that have come
to us from ALA members across the country--especially about pricing and
availability (or the lack thereof) and the slow pace of progress in finding
solutions. I expressed these
a September 27 meeting hosted by the Association of American
Publishers (
AAP) and attended by about 100 staff from the publishing houses.

In the wake of an ALA statement on price increases by
the issuance of an
ALA open letter to
the delegation (which included ALA President-Elect Barbara Stripling,
Immediate Past President Molly Raphael, Digital Content and Libraries
Working Group Cochair Robert Wolven, and Office for Information Technology
Policy Director Alan S. Inouye) had felt a bit of ambivalence about these
meetings before the trip. I am pleased to report that we experienced a
series of frank, thought-provoking, cordial, and productive discussions
that culminated in a hopeful feeling as we left New York.

There have been press
AAP session and so I won't provide an overview here. We achieved consensus
on one important point, namely the necessity for an increased focus on the
future to find effective ways to resolve the issues surrounding ebooks
rather than to dwell on past policies and practices. For example, one
publishing representative asked, "What would libraries like to see in three
years?" This led to a discussion in which Bob Wolven shared some of the
work being done by the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group on possible
business models for library ebook

Another key takeaway from the AAP session is the need for further education
and understanding by all parties. We are in the midst of a digital
publishing revolution in which everything is changing and becoming ever
more complex and interconnected. For ALA, this means stepping up our
efforts to provide educational resources for our members, including library
community leaders, about the publishing ecosystem in a digital environment.
Also, we need to determine how to help publishers increase their
understanding of library needs and preferences.

I would like to thank the AAP for organizing this session and for brokering
communication opportunities between its member publishing houses and
ALAduring the past year. Although libraries and publishers and their
respective associations disagree on some significant policies, we do agree
that continuing communication is immensely critical.
 *[image: At Scholastic: Alan Inouye (left), Bob Wolven, Maureen Sullivan,
and Barbara Stripling.]Meetings with individual publishing houses*

We were encouraged by what we learned in our meeting with Penguin
executives. They vigorously reaffirmed Penguin's strong commitment to the
library market. In the coming months, the company plans to broaden its
current ebook pilot to sites beyond New York. We also gained a better
understanding of the process involved in bringing a service to market
within a diverse global organization.

In support of ALA's increasing ebook focus in the school library and
children and youth segments, we met separately with executives of Rosen
Publishing and Scholastic. These companies have a long tradition of working
successfully with the library community. At the Rosen Publishing visit,
which included CEO Roger Rosen, the delegation discussed trends and major
issues for the school library ebook market. Additionally, we received a
demonstration of Rosen's impressive interactive ebooks, which are available
to school libraries at reasonable prices.

At Scholastic, we enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion of the important role
of school libraries in the educational process with a contingent that
included the publishing house's CEO Dick Robinson. We discussed digital
content issues and ebooks in particular, including the specific services
already offered to the school library and children and youth markets. We
learned that Scholastic is exploring ways to extend its new Storia product,
released in July 2012, to the library market.

[image: Virginia Stanley (second from left), director of library marketing
at HarperCollins, greets ALA delegation members Bob Wolven, Maureen
Sullivan, Molly Raphael, and Barbara Stripling.]Our separate meetings with
HarperCollins, Random House, and Hachette were also productive. A common
challenge (and opportunity) discussed at these meetings is the complexity
and continuing evolution of the marketplace. In particular, the ebook path
from author to library involves multiple intermediate entities, such as
agents, distributors, and retailers, whose concerns must be included in
order to effectively address publisher-library issues.

What innovations might promote our common goal of bringing authors and
readers together? The "buy-it-now" button is generally viewed by the
library community as an acceptable development. Are there other ways in
which libraries can help to promote the discoverability and sales of books
that also advance the library mission and are consistent with library
values? We had good discussions of possible ways to make progress.
 *Looking ahead*

We concluded this latest round of visits on Friday evening, September 28,
heartened by the goodwill and positive intentions that were expressed. Of
course, this alone will not fill our libraries' virtual shelves with
ebooks. We look forward to positive developments from publishers in the
coming weeks and months leading up to the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in
Seattle. We will continue to pursue our strategy of heightened advocacy and
publisher engagement. This is likely to include several initiatives that
emerged from last week's meetings.

Maureen Sullivan
ALA President


*Diedre Conkling**
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Phone & Fax: 541-265-3066
Work email**: **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude."--Maya Angelou
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