The Maryland State Legislation passed SB432/HB518, which (synopsis from the Senate bill):
Requiring a publisher who offers to license an electronic literary
product to the public to also offer to license the electronic literary
product to public libraries in the State on reasonable terms that would
enable public libraries to provide library users with access to the
electronic literary product; authorizing the license terms authorizing
public libraries to provide access to electronic literary products to
include certain limitations; defining "electronic literary product";
Many people worked on this bill, recognizing its importance to libraries. While others opposed it, the bill became law! It was not signed by the Governor, which I think is unfortunate. Rather he allowed it to become law without his endorsement.
Why is it important? As Andrew Albanese states:
SB432 requires any publisher offering to license "an electronic literary
product" to consumers in the state to also offer to license the content
to public libraries "on reasonable terms" that would enable library
users to have access. The bill is scheduled to take effect in January,
Yes, libraries will have access to the same ebooks that are offered to consumers. Amazing that this isn't already being done, right? But publishers wrongly see libraries as being in competition with them, and so some withhold their ebooks from libraries. This practice harms our communities. As Jonathan Band stated in his written testimony about this bill, "In other words, the bills prevent unreasonable discrimination against public libraries." (Quoted by Matt Enis)
Please note that this bill - and similar bills being introduced into other state legislatures - do not affect copyright. Rather they are looking to state law to create a level playing field for libraries.
I encourage you to read the Maryland bill and then look to see if groups in your state are advocating for something similar. Note that legislation has been proposed in New York and Rhodes Island. I think as bills are proposed, each will learn from what happened in another state. For example, the Maryland bill may not have everything that another state would want. And every state will have to wrangle with the publishers and their interests, as they work to balance the interest of libraries and constituents. How will that affect wording, etc.? We will have to wait to see.