The American Library Association has a new president Molly Raphael, and she met with top executives with the Association of American Publishers to discuss the future of ebooks.
The new president Molly Raphael; Alan Inouye, director of the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy; and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels met for about 90 minutes with Tom Allen, AAP’s president and CEO at his office on Fifth Avenue. This is an annual meeting between the two sides that mainly started when Harper Collins implemented a 26 book lending limit on its library ebooks.
“This was really a chance for Molly and me to get to know each other,” Allen said. “She and I agree that it’s just very helpful to talk to each other,” he said. “There are many issues that librarians have with publishers that are really commercial issues; the different houses have different beliefs or activities or arrangements, but it’s…helpful to get to know Molly.”
This meeting between the two sides actually happened because of a layover flight of which the executives at American Library Association were victims, after coming back from the REFORMA conference.
After the meeting, they engaged in a AAP Trade Libraries Committee, which brings together the directors of library marketing from the top publishers. This is a big meeting in which the biggest publishing companies are represented and talk shop. Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, Random House, Macmillan, and several others were present. The ALA mainly tried to get the point across that library books are an essential part of the digital book ecosystem and to stress the importance of not capping the amount of times a book can be loaned out.