American Libraries Magazine has an article by ALA President Molly Raphael, who last week led a 4-person delegation to meet with Hachette Book Group and four national organizations representing authors. Raphael calls the meeting “very promising” with regard to convincing Hachette to resume providing libraries access to its newer e-book titles. (Hachette stopped providing its e-books to libraries in 2009.)
It quickly became obvious that Hachette Book Group executives and digital strategists have spent considerable time thinking about the library ebook market. Hachette sees libraries as strong partners because of our benefits as direct customers and marketers of their titles, and they recognize libraries’ place as an integral institution in communities that must be supported.
More specifically, we were pleased to learn that starting this spring, Hachette is conducting a pilot with two ebook distributors for libraries, which will bring a selection of HBG’s recent bestselling ebooks to 7 million library patrons. These pilot programs will help HBG learn more about library patrons’ interests, usage, and expectations, and help the publisher devise the best strategy to reach the widest audience of ebook readers in libraries.
Further details were not provided here, or when paidContent reached out to Hachette and book distributor 3M based on the article. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how and under what restrictions Hachette makes the e-books available.
Raphael also discusses meeting with the authors’ groups and discussing authorial concerns over library lending, though didn’t go into many specifics there either. She did note that one group, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, had come out in favor of library e-book lending, and they had a number of productive discussions with all the groups with whom they met.