The Ohio Library Council Board Addresses Three of the 5 and Blackstone

The Ohio Library Council’s Board has passed a resolution calling for “Blackstone Audio, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster, to reconsider these recently announced restrictive and onerous policies and engage in a meaningful and direct dialogue with libraries, library consortia, library associations, authors, and other relevant stakeholders for the purpose of creating new policies that ensure equitable access to all of Ohio’s citizens.”

OLC cites many reasons:

“WHEREAS, the U.S. publishing industry earned $25.83 billion in revenue in 2018, with downloaded audio experiencing 28.7% growth over 2017; and

WHEREAS, the major publishers have recently announced new policies for eBooks and eAudiobooks that severely limits public libraries’ ability to purchase, or delays the purchase, of digital copies of materials and information; and

WHEREAS, these restrictive policies directly impact the ability of public libraries to serve all Ohioans and adequately provide access to materials and information; and

WHEREAS, the new eBook and eAudiobook policies represent a significant financial burden impacting taxpayer supported public libraries’ overall operations and services, spending millions of dollars in 2018 on eBooks and eAudiobooks; and

WHEREAS, these arbitrary limitations make it difficult for libraries to fulfill their central mission of ensuring access to information for all and regardless of socioeconomic status.”

RF thanks the OLC Board for their stand and supports their call for the publishers to reconsider. We hope this is but the start of a state-wide campaign in Ohio to bring attention to the deleterious effects these changes will have on readers.

Thanks to Carmi Parker for bringing this matter to RF!