mwianecki's blog

Is your favorite author here? Send them this letter c/o their publisher.

... Ms./Mr. (insert author's name);

As a patron and supporter of libraries, I have long appreciated the opportunities that technology has granted libraries in the pursuit of providing information and entertainment to their patrons. The fact that we can access information 24/7 through our library's website equates to a service of inestimable proportion. Likewise, the opportunity for libraries to share electronic copies of books - both in text and audio format - has been a great boon to the public's ability to access information. Electronic reading devices, as you are well aware, are now a massive part of the way many people consume literature and information, and libraries need to be able to provide that content as they have always done. Over the last two years, the demand for eBooks has grown by leaps and bounds, and many library patrons are moving to eReaders as their choice for content delivery.

With that said, I want to express my displeasure with your publisher, (insert publisher's name). Rather than helping their longtime partners, public libraries, this publisher (and others like it) will not sell to public libraries. This disenfranchises public library users and cuts them off from your work. Patrons request that libraries provide this content constantly, but libraries have no recourse but to turn them away. Given the explosive growth of e-content, if public libraries cannot meet the needs of their patrons, libraries have less value in our communities. These publishers are, in effect, engaged in business practices directly detrimental to the survival of the public library in this country.

I understand that publishers are nervous about their property and intellectual rights - and authors are, too. What I do NOT understand, however, is why your publisher is apparently refusing to work with libraries at all in regard to e-content. There is already a secure DRM (Digital Rights Management) solution provided by all providers of e-content to libraries. I cannot believe that you, a popular author, do not want the public reading your materials, or to be able to borrow your materials, through the method that they prefer: from a public library.

I would ask you, as a prominent author, to bring pressure to bear on your publisher to open their e-content to public libraries. Failure to do so will deny public library patrons like myself access to your materials and other valuable content in the format that they desire. If the libraries of the future cannot provide content to patrons, they will truly die. That will be a very sad day for this country and for those who depend on the equitable access to information that they provide.

Sincerely,

The first stage of bringing the library’s automated phone system back online is complete.  You should now be receiving calls notifying you that there are holds ready to pick up.  The library is still working on telephone overdue notifications as well as the automated telephone renewal system – we hope to complete these two steps in phases over the next couple of months.

In the mean time, the library encourages you to use the email notification and online account management system, available from the “My Account” link at www.mtpl.org  .  Placing holds, renewing materials and checking due dates can all be done through the online system.  You can submit your email (for email notification) and set messaging preferences here as well.

If you have further questions, please contact the borrower services desk at (732)671-3700, ext. 310 during business hours.

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