Changes to ebook Lending Coming to a Library Near You

By Administrator Fri, September 13, 2019

As you may have read in the news, recent changes in the publishing industry will soon impact library customers’ access to some newly released ebook titles. Macmillan Publishers—one of the "Big 5" book publishers in the United States— recently announced that effective November 1, libraries would only be permitted to purchase one ebook copy of newly released titles for the eight weeks following publication. This "embargo" on purchasing more than one copy will mean that our customers will have to wait much longer to read newly published Macmillan works, as we will only be able to offer one single ebook copy to our public for the first two months after its release.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Macmillan is betting that many consumers will be frustrated at the long waiting periods that are likely to develop if libraries have only one digital copy and will instead buy the books they want to read at retailers like Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. or independent bookstores." This is in contrast to studies that show that library promotions of ebooks drive sales in both print and digital copies.

We know how important it is for libraries to be able to provide access to all types of content to you, our readers, for lifelong learning as well as for enjoyment. The issue of publishing terms for ebooks goes straight to the heart of equity and access that are core to libraries’ ability to serve the public.

The Free Library is in conversations with libraries nationwide about this issue. We will stand with other leaders in our field to fight for equal purchasing access to digital materials so that we can continue to serve you, our public, in the best way possible.

This week, the American Library Association announced the creation of a petition where library lovers nationwide can add their voice in advocating for #eBooksforAll. Please visit to add your name!



Ebooks for all!
Peggy Davis - Philadelphia Fri, September 13, 2019
I am a book blogger with more than 5000 purchased ebooks on my various e-readers and I check out 300+ books from my local library every year. Checking books out of a library can make a difference as to whether or not I choose to buy a book. I rarely, if ever, spend money before reading. Books are too expensive and money is in short enough supply that, with a reading list the size of mine, I won't often take a chance on an unproven (to me) book, series, or author. Another factor I consider when buying a book is if it is even good enough to get picked up by my local library. My purchase sites are all tied into the catalog at the library, both print, and ebooks. That is often the reason on whether I choose to take the time to look at a book or just blow on by it since the purchasers at my local library are usually proficient at procuring a wide range of good new titles. It is my opinion that series books will suffer the most from this policy. It is a proven marketing tactic to have a "seed" book available for free to get readers hooked. The libraries are the best way for companies to achieve this strategy at no loss to publishers/authors since libraries purchase the books that will inspire future purchases, whereas consumers who receive the free books directly will have no reason to ever purchase it on their own.
Michelle Perry - Fort Wayne Tue, September 17, 2019
This is another example of big corporations scamming the public!
sandra kuby - PHILA. Tue, October 01, 2019

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