Kathryn Greenhill has started off 2011 with a thought provoking set of 11 answers for libraries in 2011.
Q. How do we force publishers to give us ebook content that includes works that our users want and that they find easy to download to their chosen device?
They will not.
It is not in their commercial interests to do so. They are just not that into us.
Kathryn also goes on say that if publishers won’t realise the economic value that librarians bring and make content available to libraries in a manner that is useful for our users, then:
we could save our energy and find untapped sources of content created by our local users and work together to create a single publishing platform and rights-management tool to allow easy creation and access to local content.
I am currently writing a piece on why libraries should cease collecting print books to go into a book (a print one ha!). So the discussions librarians are currently having on eBook integration are valuable. I don’t think however that Kathryn’s suggestion of sourcing local content is viable. Library users want access to worldwide new content (just like ebookstores offer) we need to work better with publishers, and demand more from vendors such as OverDrive (http://overdrive.com), Ebrary (http://www.ebrary.com) and the Ebook Library (http://www.eblib.com) or, alternatively set up our own licencing system but not just with local content, but with all major publishers. The Australian library world already has the NLSA Consortium for organising licencing for databases , this would seem like a natural extension of their work, surely.