This morning a joint statement on access to e-book and e-textbook content was released, representing the position of the library sector across a range of bodies, including SCONUL, JISC, CILIP, NAG, RLUK, APUC and SUPC – and yes, #ebookSOS!
The paper calls for “immediate action by publishers an aggregators to introduce more sustainable and affordable pricing models for e-books and e-textbooks” and pledges the signatory bodies to work towards a “fairer and more transparent marketplace” so that “students and teachers in UK higher and further education can gain equitable and sustainable access to e-books, e-textbooks.”
You can read the statement at the following link – https://www.sconul.ac.uk/page/joint-statement-on-access-to-e-book-and-e-textbook-content
Accompanying the statement are a number of other documents, including an e-book and e-textbook sustainability position paper produced by SCONUL, a JISC briefing for library directors on publishers an the textbook market in the higher education sector, and a JISC briefing for academic staff on cost, affordability and availability of core reading materials. This latter document serves as a useful accompaniment to our own paper on guidance for academic on negotiating contracts with publishers.
The JISC briefing for library directors includes a range of short, medium and long-term calls to action, including supporting our #ebookSOS campaign for an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority – so this may just be the ammunition some of you have been looking for to approach your library directors and senior institutional figures!
We encourage all our supporters and readers to share these documents with their colleagues, library managers, heads of department and directors.
Whilst we are aware these documents and the bodies producing them are very education-focused, they can nevertheless serve colleagues in other libraries (public, special, legal, health etc) as evidence of the growing dissatisfaction across the library world with publishers and the market, and can hopefully serve as a model for pressure and advocacy in other types of library.