Blackstone and other Updates from RF Working Group Member Carmi Parker


On the Blackstone boycott front, we have a new library system that plans to boycott audiobooks from Blackstone, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette!  They have not yet announced it officially so I will let you know who they are when they have done so.

We received the answers to our questions [ed.—not much in the way of answers!] to Blackstone a couple weeks ago and I do not expect much more news on that front, so will be posting only when I have an update rather than weekly.  Since we are seeing more libraries begin to boycott other publishers, I am planning to start a weekly update that shares that information, along with news about eBook restrictions.  Here is a start, and we should have more details next week.

There are several excellent articles summarized and linked in Andrew Albanese’s Publisher’s WeeklyThis Week in Libraries,” including a discussion of the Edward Snowden book in the context of Banned Books Week, free speech, and the suit by the DOJ seeking to freeze Snowden’s profits from the book.  Albanese observes: “there are many ways to ban a book.”  And Kent Oliver, director of Nashville Public Library, connects the Macmillan embargo to the freedom to read.  Finally, a Virginia librarian is using Twitter to protest eBook pricing. Visit the page every Friday (typically) for lots of library e-book news.

Also in PW, Sari Feldman has continued her regular column despite retiring as the director of Cuyahoga County Public Library.  She writes about eBook restrictions and what they might mean for readers’ advisory.

 Jessamyn West, a regular columnist for Computers In Libraries, has dedicated her column to eBook restrictions.  If you missed her article earlier this summer on, it’s worth reading.

 My 2 cents…it’s very good to keep the publisher restrictions top-of-mind in the press, but talking about the restrictions won’t change them.  If libraries want change, we need to follow words with actions.

Carmi Parker, WCLS