We do things by the book

February 21, 2008

Your report did not quite capture the mood of the Publishers' Association conference ("Illegal downloading among threats to textbook sales", 14 February). All parties - lecturers, authors, learning technologists, librarians, publishers, even vice-chancellors - concurred that the future not only lies beyond the standard textbook but requires collaborative, "enterprise" solutions if good-quality learning resources are to be made available to fee-paying students through their library systems, social networks and course management environments.

Experiments are already happening, and clearly innovative technology has a big role to play, but innovation also means a willingness to contemplate new business models, shifts in funding flows, fresh partnerships and an acknowledgement that it needs a joint responsibility to overcome the barriers. We also need to be realistic: the mixed-media model will be with us for some time yet, but we have a duty to work together for a sustainable "market" in teaching, learning and research resources.

Graham Taylor
Publishers Association

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