Marin County Free Library’s mission is to provide welcoming, equitable and inclusive opportunities for all to connect, learn and explore. We do that by connecting patrons with the titles you want to read in any format, whether it is print, audio, or electronic.
Now your ability to access some eBooks is in jeopardy.
As of November 1, Macmillan Publishers will restrict public libraries to the purchase of only 1 copy of any new eBook title during an 8-week window.
Right now, we purchase multiple copies of popular eBooks so that more than one person can read them at the same time. When Macmillan imposes the new access restrictions, users will have much longer wait times for eBooks from popular authors like Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Jonathan Franzen, Louise Penny, and many others.
Macmillan’s new policy is based on the fear, shared by other publishers, that eBook lending is cutting down their profits. Macmillan’s hope is that imposing restrictions on libraries will force patrons to buy their own copies instead. But this couldn’t be further from the truth:
- Libraries drive overall book sales and contribute significantly to overall book sales
- Libraries facilitate the discovery of new authors and genres
- Libraries contribute to the marketing of titles by offering readers advisory services
- Libraries spend the money so patrons can “try before buying”
- Checkout The Panorama Project’s Community Reading Event Impact Report
Macmillan’s new model for eBook lending will make it difficult for Marin County Free Library to fulfill its mission. Here are some ways in which library patrons will be directly impacted:
- Long wait lists
- Inability for readers with visual impairments to read eBooks that meet their needs. Not every book is published in large print and waiting months for an eBook copy is unfair
- Inability for readers who can’t make it to the library to read the titles they want. For some patrons, eBooks are the only way they can interact with the library because of geographical constraints, mobility issues, or economic considerations
Make your voice heard as a patron of the library and user of eBooks. The American Library Association (ALA) has put together a wonderful list of actions, along with examples and other materials, that we can do get involved:
- Write a letter to Macmillan Publishers CEO, John Sargent
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
- Submit an op-ed to your local paper
- Speak up in social media
Access the above documents and sign the petition today at eBooksForAll.org or text EBOOKS to 40649 and demand that Macmillan treat public libraries as collaborators rather than competitors.