Issues concerning libraries and the law - with latitude to discuss any other interesting issues Note: Not legal advice - just a dangerous mix of thoughts and information. Brought to you by Mary Minow, J.D., A.M.L.S. [California, U.S.] and Peter Hirtle, M.A., M.L.S. Follow us on twitter @librarylaw
Minow: Jo, some publishers tell me that if a library consortium buys an ebook, the publisher makes one sale instead of, say 100. Do you agree?
Budler: Well, no, that is not how we have seen it work here in Kansas with our statewide consortium. While we have access to Britannica's E-STAX collection through our membership in the Enki Library, we also purchased this collection with unlimited simultaneous usage to support our Guys Read program. The goal of this program is to encourage young males to read. We know that they are more inclined to enjoy non-fiction titles so we began looking for authoritative, enjoyable titles for pre-school and elementary readers and found that the Britannica E-STAX met the bill. We purchased enough titles to permit unlimited simultaneous usage for all Kansans.
Minow: What about the converse? If you already had a maximum-access (unlimited number of users can access at the same time) license, would you ever still buy a copy of the ebook?
Budler: Yes, we would still buy a copy of the ebook to allow discovery via Enki library. Our unlimited simultaneous usage is via Britannica's platform. Discovery may take place in our online catalog; readers will be directed to multiple sources.
It is our feeling that the more places we have the content exposed, the more available it is to our readers. That is what this is all about: making reliable reading material available to our residents. Buying an extra copy of the book and placing it in Enki gives our readers more access and we are happy to do this.
When I give intellectual freedom talks to library groups, I often mention a real heroine, Zoia Horn. Zoia is best known for her refusal to testify against members of the Harrisburg Seven during the Viet Nam War. She was warned that she faced jail time if she refused, and the then 53 year old “proper” librarian went to jail for the rest of the trial (almost three weeks). She gave me great encouragement over the years, and inspired legions of librarians who ask themselves, “would I put myself on the line for what I believe in?” Zoia died on Saturday, at home.