Is there a plus side to the ongoing HarperCollins e-book controversy?
HarperCollins’ decision to limit public libraries to checking out an e-book 26 times before, as Phil Bradley puts it ‘it implodes on itself like a Mission Impossible cassette tape’, has caused a great deal of comment and complaint. Phil Bradley has much to say about this ‘retrograde’ step on his own (not Cilip’s!) blog as do librarians and others around the world. Some librarians are calling for a boycott of HarperCollins. The Library Journal reports that some US library consortia are already boycotting the publisher.
In fact, librarians’ ability to collaborate and comment using a full range of social media has meant that the debate has gone beyond the library ‘echo chamber’. In the US, the story has been covered by ABC news as an e-book backlash led by librarians.
The coverage of the story shows that librarians can attract the attention of the mainstream media.
You can follow the ongoing debate on Twitter (#HCOD). HarperCollins’ explains its decision in an open letter to librarians on its blog.