New eBook Bill Could Expand Reading in Massachusetts

The state legislature is considering H.3239, a new state ebook bill that would allow libraries to purchase ebooks just like physical books.

Massachusetts libraries face a significant challenge in providing ebooks and audiobooks for our communities. They can only license these ebooks and audiobooks rather than purchase them outright, which comes at a steep cost.

This means that our libraries are forced to pay exorbitant fees and are often subjected to restrictive licensing terms that limit the number of times a book can be borrowed or how many copies can be owned.

However, the Massachusetts Library Association has proposed a solution.


Please send an email in support of H.3239 to expand access to eBooks in Massachusetts. 


The state legislature is considering H.3239, a new state ebook bill that would allow libraries to purchase ebooks just like physical books. This legislation will give our libraries more control over their collections, extend their budgets, and better meet the needs of their patrons. The bill is carefully crafted to safeguard the rights of copyright holders while establishing fair terms for libraries and other consumers. It's a win-win situation that benefits everyone involved.

While Massachusetts libraries have been licensing ebooks and audiobooks for years, the need for this bill has only grown. During COVID, many people relied on ebooks and audiobooks to access reading materials because of library closures and social distancing - and they still love their ebooks and audiobooks! Coming through the pandemic, the high costs and restrictive licensing terms of ebooks have made it more and more difficult for libraries to meet the increased demand for ebooks. If we pass H.3239, we can help ensure that our communities can access the ebooks and digital audiobooks they need, no matter the circumstances.


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As David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library, says, “State Representative Ruth Balser introduced H.3239 after hearing from constituents about the challenges faced by libraries in her community. We need the legislature to hear from folks across the state, too, about this important issue. Please join the MLA and EveryLibrary in urging your state legislators to support H.3239. Doing this can make reading more accessible to everyone in our state and ensure libraries have the digital collections our towns need.

Please sign the petition from the Massachusetts Library Association and EveryLibrary
to send an email to your Representative and Senator today about H.3239 today.

We believe that reading is a fundamental right, and we should do everything in our power to make it as accessible as possible. For many people, eBooks are the most practical way to access books due to mobility issues, distance from libraries, or simply the convenience of digital formats. You can help make reading more accessible by reaching out to your state legislators today.  The more we can bring out support for these innovative and useful ebook bills.