Monday, July 15, 2019

Public libraries boycotting audio books

I'd like to live in a world in which I didn't have to know about things such as "windowing" a book. I have quite a bit going on lately, and I feel much like Homer Simpson when he says that each time he learns something new, something old falls out of his brain.

And, yet, here we are. Thanks, publishing.
The George Mason Reg Lib, via

The librarians are, as always, doing the Lord's work.

The whole digital book thing -- ebooks and audiobooks -- has been screwy for libraries and now is getting oh so much more screwier.

Here's where we are ->

Citing Embargo, Libraries Plan Boycott of Blackstone Digital Audio

The Washington Digital Library Consortium (WDLC), a statewide coalition of some 44 public libraries across Washington state, is organizing a potential six-month boycott of Blackstone Publishing's digital audiobooks. The move follows Blackstone's decision, announced last month, that as of July 1 it would embargo selected new release audiobook titles in libraries for 90 days. The WDLC is urging libraries across the nation to join them in their protest, which is set to begin on August 1.
“As advocates for equitable access for our residents, we protest your decision and, as a result, will boycott Blackstone’s e-audiobooks for six months (August 1, 2019, to January 31, 2020). We ask you to reverse the embargo and to refrain from creating future barriers for libraries,” reads a draft letter making the rounds in the library community. “We take these steps because we truly believe that services without special barriers to libraries are best for both for our patrons and your business.”


Recent developments suggest a grim future for digital content in libraries, writes Sari Feldman, unless library supporters find a way to respond.

Despite holding meetings with librarians (including me), as well as with representatives from the American Library Association, it does not appear that Macmillan has listened to our concerns. 

As usual, librarians are fighting the good fight, with limited funds and limitless energy.

As Michael Kozlowski says:

I believe that major publishers and smaller ones are actively trying to sabotage the public library. Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon and Schuster and others have recently changed their business model from perpetual ownership to a two year term.  It certainly seems like all sorts of publishers are trying to screw over the library. I believe libraries should not stop at an embargo with just Blackstone, but they should boycott all publishers that suddenly change their terms to make more money. >>>

No comments: