Agenda announced for upcoming webinar: The empty library? The urgency of solutions to unsustainable eBook markets.


19th May 2022

14:00-16:00 pm CET


Is the freedom for libraries to acquire books and develop a collection a relic of a pre-digital age? Should it be users’ needs or publishers’ policies that determine what libraries can offer? How can the rights of access to education, knowledge and cultural participation be protected?

The situation facing both public and academic and research libraries when working with eBooks is a key theme of the Knowledge Rights 21 Programme. Join us for this webinar both to learn about the Programme, and to hear in particular about latest developments around eBooks in different parts of Europe and the solutions being pursued.

Participants will come away with a strong understanding of the issues around eBooks in libraries today, as well as of the opportunities open to them under the wider Knowledge Rights 21 Programme. They will also have the opportunity to inform and shape the Programme’s next steps around eBooks.

Panel I

Presentation of Knowledge Rights 21 Programme by Stephen Wyber, Policy and Advocacy Director, IFLA

Duration: 20 min presentation followed by 10 min Q&A

Panel II

Discussion on possible solutions to unsustainable eBook markets.


Cathal McCauley

First speaker:

Cathal McCauley, University Librarian, Maynooth University and President of the Library Association of Ireland

The #ebookSOS campaign in Ireland.

This presentation will describe the ongoing #ebooksos campaign in Ireland. The campaign is led by the Library Association of Ireland and with input from members working across many library sectors including Academic libraries, public libraries, health libraries and more. The campaign is inspired by the #ebooksos campaign in the U.K. and we continue to work closely with our colleagues across Europe and beyond. The campaign is seeking a fairer, more sustainable, approach to ebook provision across all library sectors. The presentation will demonstrate that libraries everywhere can and should campaign for a better approach to ebooks!

Duration: 20 min presentation followed by 5 min Q&A

Barbara Schleihagen

Second speaker:

Barbara Schleihagen, Executive Director, German Library Association

Struggling for legally based e-lending.

Since more than 10 years, the German Library Association (dbv) fights for the same rights for e-lending and physical lending in libraries. As e-lending is restricted to the “one copy one loan” principle to mimic lending of physical books, the dbv asks for immediate availability of e-books in libraries and for the extension of library royalty payment for authors. Two former federal governments had promised to improve the availability of e-books in libraries without any results. The dbv finally started a campaign at a moment, when copyright legislation was updated anyway to implement a EU directive. There is still no legal basis for e-lending but we continue to fight.

Duration: 20 min presentation followed by 5 min Q&A

Third speaker:

Benjamin White, Chair of LIBER’s Copyright and Legal Matters Working Group, researcher at Bournemouth University’s Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management

Legal Solutions to the eBook Dilemma: Enabling libraries to act as libraries.

eBooks and their shift away from copyright law presents significant challenges to libraries. The reliance by eBooks on proprietary licences undermines the century-old function of a library to acquire, lend and preserve their collections. This presentation will focus mainly on desirable updates to the European copyright acquis in the light of a 2016 landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union on eBooks, but also touch on the importance in the academic sphere of open licensing.

Duration: 20 min presentation followed by 5 min Q&A

A 15 min discussion on the topics will follow.

Haven’t registered yet? Register today! We are looking forward to seeing you all!

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash