Today, OverDrive CEO Steve Potash joined a group of library and publishing industry experts for the eBook Summit hosted by the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Commons in London.
Earlier this year, Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, announced the launch of a cross-industry task force reviewing the state of eBook lending in the United Kingdom. As part of that review, Justin Tomlinson, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Libraries All-Party Parliamentary Group, convened today’s panel. In addition to Potash, who was there advocating on behalf of libraries, the panelists included: Richard Mollett, CEO of The Publishers Association; Olivia Cole, Literary Editor of GQ, Editor of Spectator Life, poet and contributor to The Evening Standard; and Christopher Platt, Director of Collections and Circulation Operations at the New York Public Library.
Potash spoke about the mounting evidence showing that library eBook borrowing supports eBook sales. Also advocating for libraries was NYPL’s Christopher Platt, who spoke about the need for libraries to budget funds for eBooks and print books, as well as the need for library staff to support technology.
Annie Mauger of the U.K.’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals summarized the crux of the meeting on Twitter shortly after the panel dispersed. “Overarching message?” she Tweeted, “Partnership. Libraries, authors, publishers, suppliers, need to talk together to dispel the fear.”
Michael Lovett is Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at OverDrive.