Monday, March 14, 2011

A message from ALA President Roberta Stevens

Dear Members,

First and foremost, I want to thank you for your patience. I held back on a public statement on the recent decision by Harper Collins to restrict the lending of e-books until the Equitable Access to Electronic Information Task Force (EQUACC) met last week. Please know that I heard your voices of concern about the impact of additional costs on your libraries and ability to meet the needs of the communities you serve. A press release was issued today that speaks to our shared alarm at announced and potential limitations to the access to knowledge, information and the creative written works of authors in the electronic era. We know that libraries are essential to an informed nation and therefore our democracy. I have been and will continue to highlight our commitment to access in every media interview I give.

As an outgrowth of EQUACC's working retreat, a website will be launched within the next week. The site will allow you to provide your comments and ideas. The site’s availability will be announced using the many ways we have within the association to "get the word out."

I want to express my thanks to the task force members, the representative from the E-Book Subcommittee and staff of the Office of Information Technology and Policy. Their collective efforts to tackle this complicated topic and provide a means to reach out broadly to our members and organizations affiliated with ALA are important to our being informed and taking wise actions.

I also wanted to give you the heads up that equitable access to information and e-books will be the subject of the first virtual Membership Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for June 1. More information will be forthcoming as we get the plans in place.

Thank you for your support,

Roberta Stevens, ALA President

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