Thank you , ALA, but . . . .

The ALA has announced “the launch of ALA’s Libraries Transform Book Pick, a new digital reading program in collaboration with Rakuten OverDrive, which connects readers nationwide by offering free access to the same ebook through their public libraries.

The first selection is the new riveting post-apocalyptic novel After the Flood by Kassandra Montag. The ebook will be available with no waitlists or holds from October 7-21, 2019. Public libraries in the U.S. already partnering with OverDrive can lend ebook copies of After the Flood at no cost during the two-week program. Readers will only need a library card and the Libby app to download a copy.

To help public libraries promote the program and encourage checkouts, free marketing resources are available, including a flyer template, social media graphics, a sample press release and more.”

Thanks are indeed due to the ALA for the launch, to OverDrive and Booklist for partnering, to Miss Montag, and to HarperCollins for supporting the event. HC, an additional thanks for not piling on in the recent Big 5 stampede to disadvantage librry readers. if you would just give each library the option for one OC/OU perpetual license , allowing us to buy a wider range of your titles, especially non-fiction or less popular fiction, you’d be our best friend. Thanks for not moving to time bound licenses!

BUT (you knew the kvetching was coming), next time, ALA, how’s about expanding the initiative to include more library vendors? Could the ALA reach out to Harper Collins to extend the campaign to other vendors? Would Bibliotheca or Baker & Taylor, for instance, never want to join? It seems unlikely that any technical reason prevent them. Is selecting one vendor limiting competition and disadvantaging libraries with other vendors? At a time when many publishers—not you, HC, and thanks again!— seem determined to limit library access, maybe we need an even bigger read next time.