Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) has teamed up with the American Library Association (ALA), national libraries around the country and our neighboring state libraries, Pioneer Library system and Metropolitan Library System, in an effort to prevent newly proposed publisher restrictions on eBook purchasing.
Beginning Nov. 1, Macmillan (one of the “Big 5” publishers in the U.S.) will allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after its release. With one copy for the entire system, from bestselling authors such as Tom Clancy, Janet Evanovich, Oprah Winfrey, Heather Graham and Stephen King, wait times will be significantly longer.
Public libraries, which already pay more for eBooks than the average consumer, used to be able to purchase an eBook and own it forever. Macmillan’s new policy announcement comes as all of the Big 5 publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster) have recently changed their purchasing models for libraries, forcing them to repurchase eBook titles after a certain period of time or after a certain number of checkouts.
In September, ALA announced the #eBooksForAll campaign, which aims to curb Macmillan’s policy and any further restrictions that might result from it.
“What’s at stake here is the very issue of digital equity and access,” said TCCL Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Johnson. “By imposing these limits on public libraries like TCCL, publishers are insuring that only those who can afford to purchase their eBooks have access to them in a timely manner. That is unacceptable and strictly against TCCL’s core mission to provide free and equal access to all our customers.”
To learn more, and to sign the petition telling Macmillan that access to eBooks should not be delayed or denied, visit eBooksForAll.org.