Have you got questions or suggestions for us?
We are happy to talk to people wanting to know more about #ebooksos, or with ideas of further action to take. However, we are three academic librarians balancing this work on top of our demanding full-time jobs supporting students. This work takes a lot of time and emotional energy from us, and whilst we have volunteered to do this because we believe the cause is important, we are only human and we do need some down time!
I want to learn more about #ebooksos
If you are a library worker, academic, student, university senior manager, representative from an organisation, or a journalist or broadcaster looking to know more about the issues with academic e-books, why we decided to start the campaign, and what we are doing, then we kindly ask you to first read the Open Letter and the updates on our blog, and to listen to the UCL webinar in which Johanna Anderson succinctly sets out the issues and what the campaign seeks to achieve.
You could also take a look at the #ebooksos hashtag on Twitter, where we share all updates and developments.
If you’re writing a piece on the e-book situation, you are welcome to quote from the Open Letter and from our blog, but please do link to the website and acknowledge the work that we have been doing. And please let us know, so that we know who is talking about the campaign and so that we can look out for your piece.
If you have questions after looking at the resources above, you might want to hop onto Twitter and tweet using the #ebooksos hashtag, where we and many others are actively discussing the issues every day, and you can find a number of valuable insights. And/or, please join our new Jiscmail list email@example.com to post your question, where, again, a number of people will be able to offer contributions (this list is currently moderated in order to ensure that representatives from publishers do not join – we want to keep it as a space for those in education/libraries to discuss the issues. Please sign up using your work email address so that we can verify you).
If you would like to speak to us directly for further comment then do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org – but please give us some time to respond!
I want to know what I can do in my own institution to address the issue
Here are some actions that you can take:
- Sign the Open Letter and encourage colleagues, academic staff and students to do the same. Every signature helps. You may find that sending the media coverage to staff and students is the most accessible way of showcasing the issues.
- Send the website, media coverage and Open Letter to senior managers and leaders within the library and within the institution, to explain the issues that you are experiencing. And please encourage them to sign too!
- Please continue to add examples of overpriced, heavily restricted or unavailable books to the crowd-sourced spreadsheet. This is valuable evidence of the scandal that is academic e-book publishing.
- Work with your academics to help them understand the issues and guide them towards more ethical publishers and Open Access presses, for both their reading lists and also publishing their own work. Look at how you can influence the development of a collection development policy that encompasses this – these examples from Sheffield and York St John are fantastic.
- Write to your MP to ask them to press the issue with the Universities Minister and the Education Select Committee.
I want to invite you to speak at a conference/event or write an article
Yes please! We love being invited to speak or write and we will accept every appropriate opportunity that we feasibly can. Please do get in touch directly at email@example.com.
I’ve got a suggestion for something else that you could do
We love hearing new ideas for further action, but we have reached the stage where we really need more people to help and to take an active role in making things happen, rather than suggesting it as something that we can do ourselves. If you have an idea for something new, please post it to the firstname.lastname@example.org list rather than coming directly to us – there you will find a whole community of people who can help.
We really appreciate all of the engagement, support and suggestions that people are giving to the #ebooksos campaign – we just need your help in order for this unpaid work to remain manageable for us!
Thank you everyone
Johanna Anderson, Caroline Ball and Rachel Bickley