authors, publishers and booksellers. Of these, we wish to draw attention to thefollowing:
The benefits of remote access
: Where licences allow, ebooks are available 24/7
through the library’s website, even when the physical lib
rary is closed. CILIP firmlybelieves that all supply models should allow for remote downloading in addition toon-site access. In the digital age library users expect nothing less. On-site onlyelending is overly restrictive, runs counter to social inclusion policies, and will have adetrimental effect on library membership and therefore the public library service,threatening its very existence.
The benefit of free access to all:
CILIP is of the firm belief that society benefitsfrom a public library service that is, in the main, free at the point of delivery. It meansthat access to knowledge is not dependent on the ability to pay and so enableslibraries to reach out to disadvantaged communities and promote reading, lifelonglearning, democratic engagement and citizenship. CILIP has serious concerns aboutthe position of elending under the terms of the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act, as there is nothing in the Act to prevent a charge being levied, nor is thereanything in the Library Charges Regulations (1991) to stipulate an upper limit.Charging goes against the spirit of the Act, if not its detail, in that the written word isexempt from charging unless the material is lent in a form in which it is readable onlywith the use of an electronic or other apparatus.
Clearly ebooks do need a device toread them. Charging for ebooks could be seen as starting to charge for core publiclibrary provision as ebooks start to rival printed books, which brings into question the
library’s role in ensuring fr
eedom of access to information for all.
The benefits to print disabled people:
Ebooks offer the greatest potential toincrease access to books by blind and partially sighted people. Recent researchconducted for the RNIB found that, not including ebooks, only 17 per cent of the
Section 8.3 of the Act states that no authorisation shall be given for charges for the borrowing of written materialproviding "the material is lent in a form in which it is readable without the use of any electronic or other apparatus".Ebooks do need a device to read them and therefore a charge can be made with no upper limit being stipulated in theLibrary Charges Regulations (1991).