It’s clear we’re missing some tools. Many of the services handled by our traditional distributors—a comprehensive and straightforward acquisitions system, and the seamless delivery of both metadata and items—either don’t exist in the digital world or impose a host of onerous new restrictions. For instance, with OverDrive, libraries sacrifice ownership (and our ability to preserve content), discounts (because rental fees often exceed retail costs), and integration (requiring our patrons to work with entirely separate and markedly different interfaces). With Baker & Taylor, the file format is again proprietary and ignores NISO standards.
James LaRue, “Navigating the Ebook Revolution”, American Libraries (5/23/2012).
This article is a little old, but it does offer some ideas on what librarians can and maybe should do (scroll to the bottom, “The Librarian”) in regards to the ebook and publishers dilemma. I agree that we shouldn’t sit around and wait for the next best deal to come along, especially when so many publishers are restricting libraries’ access to e-reader content already. We need to start a dialogue with publishers and make our voices heard. Patrons and librarians both are consumers of books.