Your ability to access the digital content you love is in jeopardy.
One of our main goals at TCCL is to provide you with easy access to as many materials as possible. Publishers are doing the opposite.
Beginning Nov. 1, Macmillan Publishers, one of the largest publishers in the U.S., will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after it’s released. This means there will be fewer copies of many titles from your favorite authors – such as Tom Clancy, Janet Evanovich, Oprah Winfrey, Heather Graham, Stephen King and many more – making your wait times significantly longer.
On top of that, any additional copies purchased after the eight weeks will be twice the cost of the first and will expire after two years, requiring libraries to purchase additional copies at that time. For TCCL, a library system with 24 libraries serving more than 400,000 residents, this announcement is especially troubling.
Macmillan believes that public libraries are undercutting their profits by providing free access to eBooks, even though libraries pay double the print rate for most eBooks. Public libraries also serve as a valuable marketing tool for publishers - introducing readers to the authors they grow to love. This helps increase their sales overall as well as drives interest in current and forthcoming titles. These publishers fully expect to continue benefiting from this while they increase prices and reduce access to our customers –basically forcing customers to purchase their eBooks instead of waiting to read them for free from their public library.
What’s at stake here is the very issue of digital equity and access. Like every public library, TCCL works hard to provide free and equal access to ideas and information to all of our customers. Libraries across the country and the American Library Association are seeking a unified response to these alarming changes so that we can continue to provide this access to books electronically as well as in print.
The American Library Association has denounced Macmillan’s decision and asks that the public express their concerns too. Please consider signing the petition at eBooksForAll.org to make your voice heard and to demand that Macmillan treat public libraries as collaborators rather than competitors.
We appreciate your support.