What Have Libraries Done For Us Lately?

The interior of HARPERCOLLINS BOARDROOM. A darkened room with a very long shined oaken table. Executives are seated on each side looking towards one end of the table with executives BOB, STEVE, JOSH, and DAVE sitting closest. JOSH stands at the one end, track lighting acting as a spotlight showing that he is standing in front of a white board with graphs marked EBOOKS with the lines going up.

Josh: “So, it is settled. Starting on March 7th, all eBook purchases for libraries will expire after twenty six circulations. This is to prevent undermining the emerging e-book eco-system, hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease of book sales and royalties paid to authors.”

Bob: “Bravo! We can’t let libraries get in the way of our new business model!”

Josh: “They’d bled us white, the bastards. They would take everything we offer, not just from us, but from all of publishing and lend it out to anyone!”

Dave: “They’d want give eternal lending rights to their children!”

Josh: “And their children’s children!”

Dave: “And their children’s children’s children!”

Josh: “All right, Dave. Don’t labor the point. And what have they ever given us in return?”

Bob: “They buy our books.”

Josh: “Oh yeah, yeah, they do give us money. Yeah. That’s true.”

Rob: “And they promote our authors!”

Dave: “Oh yes, author promotion. Josh, they do tell people about our authors.”

Josh: “All right, I’ll grant you that they buy our books and promote our authors are two things that libraries have done…”

Steve: “And promote literacy…”

Josh: (sharply) “Well yes obviously literacy… literacy goes without saying. But apart from buying our books, doing author promotion and the literacy thing…”

Exec 1: “Reading lists that mention our books…”

Exec 2: “Backcatalog buying… Storytimes with our books… author talks…”

Josh: “Yes… all right, fair enough…”

Exec in the back: “Book reviews!”

Steve: “Oh yes, true!”

Bob: “Yeah. That’s something we’d really miss if libraries didn’t do it anymore, Josh.”

Steve: “Yes, they certainly know how to keep order… (general nodding)… let’s face it, they’re the only consumers that put up with our mood swings and pricing schemes.”

(more general murmurs of agreement)

Josh: “All right… all right… but apart from buying books and backcatalog titles and author talks and promotions and using our books on reading lists and storytimes and book reviews and promoting literacy… what have libraries done for us?”

Bob: “They have more locations than McDonalds and are frequently more present than bookstores in communities all across the United States?”

Josh: “What!? Oh, locations where we would not otherwise have our titles available, yes… shut up!”

[For non Monty Python fans, the reference is here.]

9 thoughts on “What Have Libraries Done For Us Lately?

  1. Pingback: netbib weblog

  2. Pingback: 11.03.15 E-Books: Bibliotheken vs. HarperCollins. Nächste Runde - Librarian in Residence – Goethe-Institut New York

  3. Pingback: Gelesen in Biblioblogs (11.KW’11) « Lesewolke's Blog

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