The #Ebooksos team have been hard at work planning a 2021 quarantine armchair tour to discuss the current situation and future plans for the campaign. Please do join us at these events if you can We encourage academics, students and other interested parties to come along as well as librarians. Dealing with the ebook challenge will require a collective effort.
15th March – E-Books: Scandal or Market Economics? 2pm -3:30pm (GMT). UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship/Copyright for Knowledge webinar.
Further details and free tickets available here. Expert speakers are
Dr. Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services & UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship)
Johanna Anderson, Subject Librarian, University of Gloucestershire and founder of the #eBookSoS campaign
Benjamin White, Researcher, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, University of Bournemouth and Chair of the Copyright and Legal Working Group of the European Research Library Association (LIBER).
500 tickets have been snapped up already so get in quick if you don’t want to miss out
Monday 12th April – Rachel Bickley and Caroline Ball of #EbookSoS will be hosting the #uklibchat discussion on the ebook crisis at 7pm (GMT).
Tuesday 13th April – UKSG Online Conference Breakout 32: #Ebooksos scandal : the need for critical collection development. This is an on-demand presentation by Johanna Anderson and Cathal MCcauley, University Librarian at Maynooth University, Ireland. We discuss the #ebooksos campaign, the library profession’s role in countering these issues and the long-term consequences if they are not addressed. There will be a live Q&A session to follow (details to be confirmed).
Wednesday 5th May – Johanna Anderson is the keynote for ABC 2021 Virtual Copyright Conference, Canada. Don’t call me brave”: How a subject librarian stepped into a leadership vacuum to challenge #ebooksos scandal”
5th-6th May – Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference (CALC) – Johanna Anderson, Caroline Ball and Rachel Bickley will discuss the ebook crisis and the restrictive impact it has on critical collection development and academic freedoms (Details to be confirmed).
11th-12th May – The Independent Publishers Guild Spring Conference (details to be confirmed)
15th July – eBook Licensing in Europe and the Vanishing Library? webinar organised by LIBER and Knowledge Rights 21, has an international focus. Knowledge Rights 21 “aims to work with public, national, educational, health and research libraries, universities and the wider access to knowledge movement, KR21 with the intention of promoting copyright reform at the European and national levels“. At this event, Johanna will deliver a presentation entitled, The Perfect Storm : The perfect storm? Pandemics, Publishers and #ebooksos.
24th August – Johanna will speak at a History Research Libraries Committee special event which focuses on supporting historical research during and beyond the pandemic. Supporting historical research online: a workshop for information professionals. #Ebooksos – resisting the consignment of libraries to the pages of history books
4th November – #Ebooksos UK : The battle for the basics – Charleston Library Conference (USA).
A personal narrative from Subject Librarian, Johanna Anderson (UK) on leading the #ebooksos campaign against excessive pricing, restrictive licencing and the practice of bundling by Ebook publishers. How the campaign started, successes and challenges faced and where it hopes to go next, will be discussed. The ebook crisis is an international one and it is hoped that, by sharing experiences and common challenges, library and information workers can collaborate across borders to robustly advocate for fair and unfettered access to information.
Meanwhile, Publishers Association (PA) have released a report entitled The economic impact of the potential new Open Access (OA) policy from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which contains the statement
“There are also concerns that the UKRI Policy would exacerbate existing challenges facing the HE sector – which is already managing significant financial and operational pressures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic”
This was met with some surprise as PA did not seem aware of these “pressures” when they tried to justify their members price-gouging from COVID in the BBC piece that reported on the ebook crisis. For expert analysis of the report we recommend you read this blog post by Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. We hope Publishers Association will consider the pressures universities face before trying to justify exploitative practice in the future.