ALA vs. AAP: The Blow-by-Blow

ALA vs. AAP

The battle is heating up between two industries struggling to find their way in the digital world.  Publishers are trying to figure out the best distribution models for ebooks while libraries are shut out of providing ebooks by several major publishers.  The proxy battle is being fought by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

The beginning stages in 2011 (see Eric Hellman’s blog post on 1/1/2012) were just the beginning.  Last month saw an aggressive ALA president issue demands to the publishers who responded quickly in an equally stern manner.

Here is a timeline of headlines and press releases which described blow-by-blow the actions and reactions of the two sides.

1/1/2012 – AAP: 2011: The Year the eBook Wars Broke Out [Go To Hellman]

2/2/2012 – AAP: Fair Trade: Random House Will Raise Library E-book Prices, But Commits to E-Book Lending [Publishers Weekly]

2/3/2012 – AAP: Random House makes history, says it will sell books to libraries with no restriction on number of loans [Melville House]

2/9/2012 – ALA: Penguin Group Terminating Its Contract with OverDrive [The Digital Shift]

3/2/2012 – AAP: Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent [The Digital Shift]

3/22/2012 – AAP: Video: Annual Meeting, Publishers and Libraries Panel [Association of American Publishers]

5/18/2012 – ALA: Ebooks: Promising New Conversations [American Libraries]

5/29/2012 – ALA: E-Content: The Digital Dialog supplement [American Library Association]

6/21/2012 – AAP: Penguin to Pilot Library E-Book Lending Program in New York, Windowing Front-List Titles [Digital Book World]

8/8/2012 – ALA: ALA Releases “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries” [ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group]

9/14/2012 – AAP: Hachette Book Group’s New Library eBook Pricing [OverDrive]

9/14/2012 – ALA: This Just In: ALA Decries Hachette’s 104% Library Ebook Price Increase (Corrected) [American Libraries]

9/24/2012 – AAP: Macmillan Poised to Test Library E-book Model [Publishers Weekly]

9/24/2012 – ALA: An open letter to America’s publishers from ALA President Maureen Sullivan [ALA Press Release]

9/25/2012 – AAP: AAP Statement in Response to American Library Association President’s Letter [AAP Press Release]

9/27/2012 – ALA: Remarks by ALA President Maureen Sullivan at the Association of American Publishers Fall Meeting [American Libraries]

10/2/2012 – ALA: Focus on the Future [American Libraries]

ALA Meets with Major Publishers

American Library AssociationAccording to Library Journal, leaders of two industries trying to figure out their business models in the rapidly-changing digital world met today.  American Library Associate executives met with representatives of at least three of the major publishers at the ALA Midwinter 2012 Conference in Dallas.  From the Annoyed Librarian:

There’s some tough talk from the ALA Executive Director, who said, “I want to assure you that the dialog will begin with us saying ‘you need to deal with libraries and you need to do this as soon as possible,’ then we can have a dialog  starting from there.” I’ve attended a lot of meetings in my time and I’ve never seen one that began so belligerently accomplish anything.

 

Were I a Simon & Schuster representative – and for all you know I am – my response to that line would be, “Or what?” That sounds mild, but I’d say it in a really hostile tone of voice, and I’d be really menacing and all.

Read the article In Which I Solve the Ebook Library Lending Problem.