Reed Elsevier to stop organizing arms fairs

In mid-April I posted an item about the campaign to get Reed Elsevier out of the arms trade business, which had a link to a well-organized petition drive. I found out about the issue from Mark Rosenzweig, who tried to bring the issue up for discussion on the ALA Council list, where it was ignored. Privately, he was told by some Councilors that customers of a company like Reed Elsevier (whose subsidiary Reed Business Information publishes Library Journal) could not have any effect on its business practices in a completely different area.

Today’s news is good and serves to show that those of us who did sign the petition didn’t do it in vain. Reed Elsevier is pulling out of organizing arms fairs. According to Reed Elsevier they made the change under “pressure which included complaints from customers, shareholders and academics writing for its major titles.”

I think Mark Rosenzweig is correct in scolding ALA Council for sleeping through this (though I have to admit I could have backed him up on the Council list; I didn’t do anything beyond posting an item here and signing the petition).

Thanks to Martyn Lowe for sharing this news.

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