Resolution on Publishers and Practices Which Discriminate Against Library Users

Whereas, the Members of the New Jersey Library Association are increasingly concerned by the actions of publishers to restrict, embargo or withhold content from US libraries. 

Whereas, over the last year 4 major publishers have adopted policies that negatively impact the ability of libraries to provide content in formats needed by their patrons, joining several other publishers.  Examples include:

  • Macmillan and Simon & Schuster refuse to allow libraries to purchase eBooks.

Whereas, Overdrive has agreements with publishers that have not been made public but apparently limit the sale of certain titles to certain types of libraries. (

Whereas, these publishers and distributors represent a growing trend that is troubling to NJLA members.

Whereas, the effect of these policies is to withhold content from library users, many of whom rely solely on the library for their content.

Whereas, the American Library Association is our national voice to advocate for access to content for all members of our society.

Whereas, the American Library Association has a Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries examining many of the issues identified above.

Resolved, that the NJLA strongly opposes the actions by these publishers and distributors and calls upon the American Library Association to speak out quickly and vigorously in opposition to these discriminatory policies.

Resolved, that NJLA applauds the establishment of the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries and urges them to identify strategies for libraries to address the significant barriers to equitable access to content created by these discriminatory policies.

Resolved, that the NJLA explore the implications of direct and overt discrimination by commercial publishers who refuse to engage in trade with libraries.  And that NJLA create public awareness of the obstacles placed on libraries and their users by these discriminatory practices.

Approved by the NJLA Executive Board on January 17, 2012.