Publishers, ebooks, and Libraries – An Uneasy Relationship

On November 21, the Penguin Group (USA), announced it was discontinuing the lending of new e-book titles to library patrons.  In addition, library patrons with the Amazon Kindle e-reader would no longer be able to check-out any Penguin titles from libraries.  Sigh, deep sigh.

American Library Association (ALA) President-elect Maureen Sullivan released the following statement regarding the abrupt change in e-book access:

“Penguin Group’s recent action to limit access to new e-book titles to libraries has serious ramifications. The issue for library patrons is loss of access to books, period.  Once again, readers are the losers.

“If Penguin has an issue with Amazon, we ask that they deal with Amazon directly and not hold libraries hostage to a conflict of business models. 

“This situation is one more log thrown onto the fire of libraries’ abilities to provide access to books – in this case titles they’ve already purchased.  Penguin should restore access for library patrons now.”

On November 24, Penguin reversed its decision — at least for now. For the details, read the article from Digital Trends: Penguin ebooks Return to Libraries.

Librarian’s note: The BSC Library has purchased several ebooks published by Penguin Group for our Beyond Library Walls Digital Collection, which is powered by OverDrive.  Retaining access to these items matters! 

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