June 12, 2024

Introducing Principles on Library Ownership of Digital Books

In October 2023, Library Futures gathered a dozen library experts and practitioners to create principles for library ownership of digital books. These principles are meant to establish a foundation of trust between publishers and libraries so that publishers can sell digital books to libraries and libraries can build permanent digital collections. 

Library ownership is key to an equitable digital future. We continue to believe that authors should write books, publishers should publish them, and libraries should purchase, preserve, and share them. We believe these principles can guide libraries and publishers as we continue our work in the digital age.

The Principles on Library Ownership of Digital Books:

  • Libraries must be able to purchase and own digital books.
  • Libraries must preserve digital books.
  • Libraries must provide access to digital books.
  • Libraries must protect reader privacy.

The full principles are available for download and use.

Thank you to Lila Bailey (Internet Archive), Charlie Barlow (Boston Library Consortium), Maria Bustillos (journalist and founding editor of Brick House Cooperative), Becky Chambers (UC Berkeley Project LEND), Greg Cram (New York Public Library), Jennie Rose Halperin (Library Futures), Dave Hansen (Authors Alliance), Nate Hill (METRO), Micah May (DPLA), Michael Weinberg (NYU Engelberg Center), Michelle Wu (former dean of Georgetown Law Library) and Juliya Ziskina (Ebooks Study Group) for your work.

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