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The Harper Collins Boycott, and What 26 Checkouts Look Like

Over last weekend, while librarian outrage over HarperCollins’ decision to limit ebook loans (among other restrictions) grew, librarians Brett Bonfield and Gabriel Farrel launched a project, Boycott HarperCollins. Kate over at the Loose Cannon Librarian sums up the rationale for joining the boycott as well as I could state it, and this week I’m too pushed to do more than this brief update.

Also see this great video from the Pioneer Library System: What 26 Checkouts Look Like; and visit the comments (some quite tart, but most are cogent) on the “open letter” from Harper Collins.

I wrote Brett yesterday to suggest the boycott also reference the other two issues that are important: HarperCollins’ resistance to consortial agreements, and their desire to begin meddling in library card policy.

But really, if this boycott sticks to this one point, I’m more than satisfied. We can work this issue from various angles, but I’m committed to all action that defends readers’ rights and advocates on behalf of the written word.

Yes, we librarians waited a while to address this issue. Yes, we could be better at planning and coordinating. Yes, we sometimes wait for “them” to solve our problems.

But I’m delighted to see us acting at all. I’m proud that there are people in our profession who saw this as important enough to act boldly. I support them. I support us.

We hang together, or we hang separately.

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