Canadian Libraries Take the Lead

Canadians are often noted for politeness, but Canadian libraries, led by the Canadian Urban Library Council (CULC), are showing grit and determination in taking concerns about library digital content pricing and business models to the (virtual) streets.

They are following up their earlier “Fair Pricing for Libraries” initiative with, calling upon citizens to call out publishers on library pricing and availability. Canadian libraries will post links on their websites and use social media to engage readers to demand better access for themselves through libraries..

Here are some details:

“Hello and thanks for joining us and participating in the upcoming #eContentForLibraries campaign.

 A reminder that the campaign is starting Monday January 14th and will run until January 25th. A press release will be issued the morning of.

Please review the toolkit ( and help spread the word about on social media, with local media outlets and with other local stakeholders.

We also ask that you link to the campaign from your own site. The call to action is to share the page and contact multinational publishers directly on social media to demand change.

If you have any questions, please contact Jefferson Gilbert, Executive Director, CULC/CBUC, “

ReadersFirst regrets that this is not an international initiative.

In support, we have worked with a member of the ALA Division ASCGLA to see if the division will support a proclamation to be adopted by the ALA. See below. This process is still very much in the works, and it is too early to know if action will be taken. Perhaps ASCGLA and ALA will prefer other ways of making a statement. With the Tor/Macmillan change of last summer, however, and other possible rollbacks of library content by publishes looming, maybe it is time for us in the USA to get into the game.

For now, Go, CULC, Canadian libraries, and Canadian readers!


Resolution on eBook pricing for libraries

Whereas Canadian Public Libraries for Fair eBook Pricing has led efforts “to raise awareness of eBook pricing issues, with the goal of ensuring broad access to eBooks for Canadian readers” ( and );

Whereas the Canadian Urban Library Council (CULC) has declared that the high cost of eBooks and audiobooks, content unavailable to libraries, and restrictive licensing models are not a sustainable model for Canadian Libraries;

Whereas libraries and their readers in the United States face the same barriers to access of titles that exist in Canada, preventing access by citizens to information; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

 1.     Urges the ALA Committee on Legislation to draft a statement supporting CULC and calling for fair eBook pricing in the United States that will balance the importance of compensating authors and publishers with greater access to information in support of democratic ideals;

2.     Urges the “Big 5” publishers to develop a variety of digital content license models that will allow libraries to provide content more effectively, allowing options to choose between one-at-a-time, metered, and other options to be made at point of sale;

3.     Urges the “Big 5” publishers to make all content available in print and for which digital variants have been created to make the digital content equally available to libraries without moratorium or embargo;

4.     Urges the creation of a joint working group of representatives from ALA, CULC, ULC, and other members to be determined to address library concerns with publishers and content providers;

5.     Urges the “Big 5” and other publishers to enter in to conversation with the library working group to explore all fair options for delivering content digitally in libraries;

6.     Urges Congress to explore digital content pricing and licensing models to ensure democratic access to information