Since ALA President Maureen Sullivan led a delegation  to New York in late September, ALA leadership and the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group (DCWG) have continued to spread the word about ebooks and libraries. The reasons for these communication activities are multiple: educating librarians, providing awareness to the general public; and informing and influencing decision makers in the publishing ecosystem.
Here’s a summary of where we’ve been in the past few months:
- In December, Maureen Sullivan and other ALA representatives met with the president and several board members of the Association of Authors’ Representatives in New York. This meeting is among ALA’s early steps to expand the long-established strong relationship between authors and librarians into the digital age. The December delegation also visited with the Association of American Publishers and Rosen Publishing.
- An important component of the DCWG charge is communication to ALA members and librarians. In October, DCWG member Eric Hellman  was a keynote speaker at the LITA National Forum in Columbus, Ohio. DCWG members made two other ebook presentations in October: Bob Wolven at the Colorado Association of Libraries Conference in Keystone and Chanitra Bishop at the Indiana Public Library Association Conference in Carmel. November saw DCWG Program Manager Alan Inouye present  at the Indiana Library Federation Conference in Indianapolis. DCWG member Junko Yokota gave a talk on children and ebooks for the Suburban Council of the International Reading Council in Illinois.
- Spreading the word internationally also is an integral part of our work. DCWG Cochair Sari Feldman spoke about ebooks at a conference in Sicily sponsored by the US State Department. ALA Immediate Past President Molly Raphael delivered a talk, entitled “The Digital Shift: How Ebooks and E-content are Changing Readers and Libraries,” at the National Library in Beijing. DCWG member Jamie LaRue traveled to Moscow to carry the message of ebooks and libraries, while DCWG member Mary Minow and Carrie Russell, program director for ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, trekked to The Hague to participate in an IFLA meeting on ebooks .
- Not surprisingly, a number of our communications initiatives took place virtually. DCWG members Vailey Oehlke and Sari Feldman, along with Alan Inouye, participated in several advisory group webinars regarding the OCLC Big Shift initiative. In November, Inouye provided an update to the ReadersFirst  initiative. Bob Wolven and Inouye also updated the ALA Executive Board during its fall meeting in Chicago (PDF file ).
Meet us at Midwinter
As you would expect, the DCWG will be in full force at the upcoming 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. In particular, we are hosting two programs:
Saturday, January 26, 10:30–11:30 a.m. “Starting from Scratch: New Recipes for Ebook Models That Work.” The session  will feature DCWG members Christopher Harris and Jamie LaRue, ALA OITP staffer Marijke Visser, and Heather Teysko and Linda Crowe from Califa. Rooms 602–3, Washington State Convention Center (session cosponsored by OITP).
Saturday, January 26, 1– 2:30 p.m. “ALA, Ebooks, and Libraries: Where Do We Stand and Where Are We Going?” The session  features DCWG members Sari Feldman, Bob Wolven, and Jamie LaRue, ALA staffer Alan Inouye, and Tim Coates of Bilbary and Matt Tempelis of 3M. Rooms 602–3, Washington State Convention Center.
Hope to see you in Seattle!
ALAN S. INOUYE is program manager of the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Initiative and director of the Office for Information Technology Policy at ALA’s Washington Office.