Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Should libraries have be able to lend ebooks in the same way as printed books?

Dear Mr Graham Jones MP, Did you know that libraries are not able to lend ebooks in the same way as printed books?

Over 85% of published e-books are not available to borrow from public libraries in the UK, often because publishers refuse to supply them, impose heavy restrictions on their use or charge very high prices.

Ebook sales accounted for 29% of the total UK book market in 2013, but only 0.4% of all books borrowed from public libraries in 2012-13 were ebooks.

Public libraries provide everyone with the opportunity to read, and access information and knowledge. As the way we read changes so must the way libraries lend books.
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is campaigning for this to change and for public libraries to have the statutory right to lend ebooks. We are supporting European-wide campaign calling for a change to European copyright law so that libraries have a right to buy and lend ebooks in the same way as printed books.

I hope we can rely on your support for our campaign to Let Libraries Lend Ebooks.

We want the Government to ensure that the UK is actively promoting the necessary changes in European copyright law to make this happen.

Any influence you can bring on colleagues in the European Parliament would also be welcome.

The EU will be reviewing and revising copyright law this year and so an important opportunity exists to secure the changes necessary.

We want a clear and fair copyright framework in Europe, one that brings a reasonable return to publishers for their investment and rewards authors and others for their creativity. We want a copyright framework that also acknowledges the rights of consumers and libraries.

We welcome the Sieghart Review e-lending pilots in England to develop a licensing framework acceptable to public libraries and publishers, but it still means publishers can choose whether libraries can lend their ebooks or not. We believe that a change in copyright law is needed to give libraries the right to purchase and lend ebooks.

You will find further information on our campaign at:

How you can support the campaign

Share this message on social media: Libraries should be able to lend ebooks free of charge to the public, as they do printed books: #eread

Please let us know if you are happy for us to add your name as a campaign supporter to our website.

Please let me know if you have any queries about e-lending or our campaign.

Yours sincerely

Annie Mauger
Chief Executive
Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals