Lack of national cooperation for local e-book services

Last month, culture minister Ed Vaizey urged local libraries to adopt e-books

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee published a report Tuesday which says that UK libraries are unable to offer e-book services because publishers are not interested due to licensing difficulties, while demand for the service is low – these issues cannot be tackled at a local level, it concludes.

According to the report: “Co-operation between authorities has recently become more difficult: one witness said that the ‘good old days’ where one authority would specialise in books on fine arts and another on 20th century history had gone as many of those ‘co-operative systems’ had broken down.”

“Another witness explained that the emphasis on local finances in the last months, and the resulting focus on local library services, had, perversely, made such co-operation ‘politically’ difficult,” the report notes.

Last month, culture minister Ed Vaizey urged local libraries to adopt e-books and e-lending.

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