20 August 2014

The right to E-read Campaign

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By Samira Cuny

Klaus-Peter Böttger, President of EBLIDAInterview with Klaus-Peter Böttger, President of EBLIDA

First, can you explain what exactly EBLIDA is?

EBLIDA is the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations and is the representative of Libraries on the European level to get in contact with the members of the European parliament for lobbying for libraries and library-related issues.

It is a European organization? An NGO?

Yes, it is an NGO (non-governmental organization) consisting of members of national organizations of over 100 members representing 37 countries in Europe.

And I see in your stand that there is a campaign “The right to E-read”.  What is the purpose of that campaign?

Yes. We have a campaign because the European framework doesn’t cover all the questions which have to do now with licensing, so publishers can actually refuse to give licenses to libraries for lending ebooks. For instance, in Germany only 40% of bestsellers are available as ebooks, so readers often expect libraries, especially public libraries, to have print versions, audiobooks, and ebook versions. If libraries do not purchase their ebooks directly from the publishers, there can be real problems and individual libraries are not necessarily in the best positon to negotiate in such cases. Therefore, the campaign tries to directly influence and lobby the European parliament to solve problems on behalf of the libraries…and so therefore the end users themselves, the readers.

The Right to E-read CampaignWhere can I find the petition?

The petition is online.  

We encourage you to visit, read about, and sign the petition to help further support the campaign.

And who can sign? Associations or individuals?

Everyone. Not only librarians or library associations, but also users!  Many people have already signed and we welcome more. We have also promoted the campaign in public libraries so users can better understand the problem directly as it affects them.  

What is the deadline?

Yes, the deadline is 31 October 2014. So we ask those who want to support this model of e-lending in public libraries should do so right now, as soon as possible! 

Last update: 28 August 2014