LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
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Andrew Grabois Reports on Libraries

I ran across an interesting article this morning which discusses the uneasy relationship between publishers and libraries due to the "first sale doctrine" - and discovered it was written by Andrew Grabois, formerly of Bowker and now an independent consultant.

Great article, and it only confirms what I've written in "What Publishers Should Know About Libraries", the white paper that I excerpted in last week's issue of "The Big Picture".

Some particularly resonant notes from Andrew's article:

  • 'In a recent press release announcing the publication of ALA’s 2007 State of America’s Libraries report, the headline read “Predicted demise due to Internet fails to materialize.”'

  • "According to the Book Industry Study Group’s annual Book Industry Trends report, libraries bought more than $1.8 billion dollars worth of books in 2006, a 3.2% increase over 2005. BISG predicts a 2.6% increase for 2007 and increases of 2-3% from 2008 to 2011. Sales to libraries will exceed $2 billion by 2010."

  • "Even though libraries are now buying almost 100 million books a year, and spending more per book, on average, than anybody else, they still have an uneasy, high-maintenance relationship with publishers. Unlike other English-speaking countries where there is a Public Lending Right that compensates authors for potential loss of sales from library lending, the U.S. recognizes a limitation on copyright called the first-sale doctrine, which allows copyrighted works to be sold or given away once they have been legally obtained. This means that after buying the first copy, libraries have the right to lend it to multiple borrowers without compensating the copyright holders."
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