Stop Amazon's War on Libraries!

Congress

Amazonpetitionheader

Amazon, one of the biggest booksellers and publishers, is refusing to let libraries lend any ebook it publishes, or any audiobook it creates. During the pandemic, checkouts of ebooks from libraries are up 52 percent. But, Amazon is undercutting libraries and access to knowledge for those most in need.

Unfortunately, this behavior from Amazon isn’t surprising. They are the largest monopoly in the ecosystem of books, and their stranglehold gives them power to limit access not only to books and information, but to alter the perception of libraries in the industry. Because of Amazon’s outsized power and their maniacal collection of data to weaponize, the fights they pick are often fights they win.

But not this time.

Libraries are one of the most important institutions for access to information and learning in our country. Innovations such as ebooks and audiobooks are key to making human knowledge accessible. As Amazon’s monopoly over book publishing continues to grow, they are acting like libraries are an enemy. This has to stop. We must reject Amazon’s attack on libraries, and end their ability to hurt readers and authors alike.

Sign the petition today. Tell Congress to pursue an antitrust investigation and legislative action to preserve and expand library services.

PETITION TEXT:

As a lover of books, diversity, and accessibility I demand the defense of our libraries, and the book industry, from Amazon.

With ebook lending up 52 percent during the pandemic, Amazon is trying to supplant library lending with its own pay-to-access Kindle and Audible systems. Because Amazon has a monopolistic stranglehold on the book industry, it has outsized power to cement its control of whether the public accesses books and information—and even what books and information is published. The time to act is now, before libraries’ relevance is cut off by Amazon.

Ebooks and audiobooks are not only an increasingly popular and convenient means of reading, they also represent a major step forward in accessibility. Accessibility isn’t nice to have, it’s a requirement for a just society. Ebooks are more accessible to those with disabilities or learning issues. They can be customized to become large print, or offer different fonts and line spacing that help readers with dyslexia. Ebook devices are often also easier for some who have physical disabilities to use. Audiobooks also serve accessibility needs for many people with disabilities.

I do not want to live in a future where a monopolistic corporation is the arbiter of information access and learning. We must step up and defend the libraries, readers, and authors of this country from a threat that could become existential. I support an antitrust investigation into Amazon and legislative action to preserve and expand library services, no matter what innovations come next.

Thank you.


Sponsored by

To: Congress
From: [Your Name]

Dear representative,

I am writing today as a lover of books, diversity, and accessibility to ask that you defend our libraries, and the book industry, from Amazon.

With ebook lending up 52 percent during the pandemic, Amazon is trying to supplant library lending with its own pay-to-access Kindle and Audible systems. Because Amazon has a monopolistic stranglehold on the book industry, it has outsized power to cement its control of whether the public accesses books and information—and even what books and information is published. The time to act is now, before libraries’ relevance is cut off by Amazon.

Ebooks and audiobooks are not only an increasingly popular and convenient means of reading, they also represent a major step forward in accessibility. Accessibility isn’t nice to have, it’s a requirement for a just society. Ebooks are more accessible to those with disabilities or learning issues. They can be customized to become large print, or offer different fonts and line spacing that help readers with dyslexia. Ebook devices are often also easier for some who have physical disabilities to use. Audiobooks also serve accessibility needs for many people with disabilities.

I do not want to live in a future where a monopolistic corporation is the arbiter of information access and learning. It is time to step up and defend the libraries, readers, and authors of this country from a threat that could become existential. It is time to open an antitrust investigation into Amazon and consider legislative action to preserve and expand library services, no matter what innovations come next.

Thank you.