Coinciding with today's United Nations’ World Book Day and World Copyright Day, the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) is rallying the European community to its “Right to e-Read” campaign. EBLIDA’s campaign aims to raise awareness among policy makers and the general public of the difficulties facing libraries trying to provide access to eBooks and other digital content. During the day, EBLIDA will hold two press conferences to draw attention to these issues: one in Brussels in the EU Parliament Library from 11am – 12 noon, and one in the Hague from 17.30 – 18.30.

You can find out more details about the press conferences here.

The eLending challenges facing libraries has been a major focus of concern for IFLA and its members for the past few years. In 2011, the IFLA Governing Board appointed a working group to draft a comprehensive Background Paper on eLending, which examined the eLending issues for libraries in different geographical regions, difficult negotiations with publishers and shortcomings in the legal context for eLending. This led in turn to the development of the IFLA Principles for eLending, launched at the World Library & Information Congress (WLIC) in August 2013, to assist library professionals negotiating eBook licences with publishers and resellers. A newly reconstituted eLending Working Group is currently pursuing an update of the 2011 Background Paper.

IFLA believes that it’s necessary for libraries and publishers/authors to agree to reasonable terms and conditions for the library acquisition of eBooks, so that libraries are able to continue to provide access to knowledge and information for their communities. Currently, libraries are grappling with restrictive terms and conditions to provide access to eBooks, and in some instances the withholding of eBook titles from libraries altogether. IFLA believes that if these issues cannot be resolved by negotiations with publishers, legislative reform is needed to ensure eBooks are made available to libraries and archives in all countries under reasonable terms and conditions.

To support EBLIDA’s Right to e-Read campaign on World Book Day and World Copyright day, see their petition and promotional materials here.

You can follow  the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #eread