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National library group lashes out over lack of e-book availability

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Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:29 p.m.

Last week, the issue of access to e-book titles boiled over when the chief of a nationwide library group lashed out at publishers who do not make e-books available to libraries.

Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, called the practice “discriminatory” to homebound and low-income library patrons.

“If our libraries' digital bookshelves mirrored the New York Times' fiction bestseller list, we would be missing half of our collection due to these publishers' policies,” Sullivan said.

In a statement, the American Association of Publishers responded that it was “disappointed” by Sullivan's remarks.

“The issues surrounding e-lending, however, are not as simple as Ms. Sullivan claims.

“Publishers support the concept of e-lending but must solve a breadth of complex technological, operational, financial and other challenges to make it a reality,” the statement said.

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