eBooks and eAudiobooks

ALA American Library Association #eBooksForAllHave you ever wondered why there is such a long waiting list for popular eBooks or eAudiobooks? You may think that the digital format allows everyone to access a copy of that in-demand book at the same time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way for libraries.

As a consumer, you can purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks with pricing that is comparable to the print or audiobook version, and you own that title with unrestricted access forever.  However, publishers of eBooks and eAudiobooks have different pricing models for libraries and often limit how long a library can own a digital copy.  These policies create challenges as we strive to stretch our limited budgets to purchase sufficient digital copies, minimize wait times, and meet the increasing demand for these formats.

Effective November 1, Macmillan Publishers made an already difficult situation considerably worse with a new policy that further restricts access to their eBooks. When a new Macmillan title is released, library systems will only be allowed to purchase one eBook copy for the first eight weeks, resulting in significantly increased wait times for library patrons. This embargo prevents the Library from meeting patron demand and compromises timely access to popular books by best-selling authors such as Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Liane Moriarty, Louise Penny, Rainbow Rowell, Lincoln Child, and Douglas Preston.

Macmillan is the only major publisher to propose such an embargo, and readers cannot stay silent. Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers like you. Please consider voicing your opposition to Macmillian’s new policy by signing the American Library Association’s petition at ebooksforall.org.

Read more news about publisher restrictions and policies affecting your library access to eBooks and eAudiobooks at the Urban Libraries Council’s Fair E-Book and E-Audiobook Lending for Libraries information page.