Following the news Macmillan Publishers is making its entire digital frontlist available through the company’s library e-lending pilot program, the American Library Association (ALA) has put out a statement welcoming the news. ALA President Courtney Young had this to say:
The Macmillan expansion of its library ebook program represents another important development for improving the ability of libraries to serve America’s communities. One of the most fundamental relationships and roles of libraries is to connect authors and readers. Library lending encourages experimentation, enabling people to sample new authors, topics, and genres, and stimulates the market for books. Thus libraries are a critical de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.
The new move very much supports ALA’s digital inclusion policy. While alluding to “highly divergent” ideas about e-lending during initial consultations with Macmillan CEO John Sargent, Young added: We have both learned a lot since that time, and the market has evolved considerably.” She continued:
Today represents an important step forward in ensuring that the public has access to the full range of digital content. However, we must remember that the digital content marketplace is in the midst of a revolution, and thus many more issues remain to be addressed. ALA looks forward to continuing discussions with Macmillan, and more broadly with authors, authors’ representatives, publishers, distributors, and retailers to create new opportunities to support a healthy reading ecosystem for the digital age.