‘Tis the season for giving. Want to know one of the best ways to show the LPL you care? Sign this petition sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and demand that Macmillan Publishers retract their library eBook embargo. If you haven’t been following the news in libraryland, here’s the situation: Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan is now restricting libraries to purchase only one copy of every new eBook title for the first eight weeks following its release. eBooks are no different from print books; libraries purchase multiple copies of popular authors or titles, and just like with print books, when those copies are checked out they become unavailable until they are automatically returned (an awesome eBook perk) or returned early. Some of the authors represented by Macmillan include: Jeffrey Archer, Janet Evanovich, Dave Eggers, Tomi Adeyemi, Mary Kay Andrews, Cecelia Ahern, Louise Penny, and Tom Perrotta. Despite the size of the library and its community, despite the popularity of an author or a title, we can only offer one copy to share with our masses for those critical first weeks. This will lead to longer wait times for new eBook releases and greater frustration among readers–that means YOU!
What’s the big deal? Well, as ALA’s petition states, This is personal. Macmillan CEO John Sargent has claimed that “library lending was cannibalizing sales.” In reality, libraries pay more for eBooks than the average consumer. We introduce the reader to authors they love and the research tell us that those readers frequently buy the book that they first loaned from us! We know from our yearly statistics that our community loves eBooks. The facts and figures that concern us have everything to do with our patrons of all ages and abilities who rely on eBooks. Particularly, readers with physical disabilities will be especially harmed by this embargo. eBooks are light, making them easy to hold and carry; moreover, the text can be enlarged for those who are vision impaired.
Restricting access to information goes against everything we believe in as library employees. If this embargo continues, we worry that other publishing companies will follow Macmillan’s lead. Our greatest hope is that our users will stand up and demand a change. The online petition is so easy to fill out and will take you less than one minute (maybe even less than 30 seconds!). ALA is also asking that readers who are directly affected screenshot their waitlist and share their story on social media using #eBooksForAll.
We are so grateful for our patrons. This is why we want you all to have unrestricted access to your favorite authors. Please read up on this situation, and if you agree with us, add your name to the more than 200,000 who demand an end to this embargo.