ALA calls on Random House to reconsider major ebook price increase

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is calling on publisher Random House to reconsider its decision to raise the price of ebooks to the library market starting March 1.  ALA President Molly Raphael issued the following statement:

“While I appreciate Random House’s engagement with libraries and its commitment to perpetual access,” Raphael said, “I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically.

“Also, ALA appreciates the data gaps that exist, and we commit to work quickly and collaboratively to address this concern. We must have better data to inform decisions that have such wide and deep implications.

“Finally, we recognize and thank those publishers and aggregators that have worked with libraries on e-book lending models at a time of significant disruption and change. Libraries must have the ability to purchase a wide range of digital content at a fair price so that all readers have full access to our world’s creative and cultural resources, especially those who depend on libraries as their only source of reading material.

“Libraries belong at the center of this digital revolution, not on the periphery. We continue to seek partners to further our shared goals of connecting readers and authors well into the 21st century.”

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