A publisher's new policy may affect the ability to borrow ebooks from Chandler Public Library.
In this digital age, a critical way that we fulfill our mission of providing access to information and ideas is through ebooks. In fiscal year 2018/19, Chandler Public Library circulated over 250,000 ebooks and audio ebooks, representing over 15% of our overall circulation. Recently, one of the nation’s biggest publishers, Macmillan, announced a new lending policy that may affect the ability of borrowers to check out ebooks. Beginning November 1, a library may purchase only one copy of a newly released Macmillan title in ebook format, and won’t be able to buy additional copies for eight weeks. Busy library systems such as Chandler’s will be especially affected, since the new policy is the same for all libraries - no matter their size.
Some background: While it may seem like ebooks are cheap to publish, they’re expensive for public libraries to buy. Major publishers already charge libraries at least twice as much for ebooks and audio ebooks than for their physical counterparts (four or more times what consumers pay). Increasingly, they require licenses that expire after a certain number of circulations or period of time. Macmillan’s policy is among the most restrictive and is indicative of a growing trend.
We understand that publishers need to think about their bottom line in a rapidly changing publishing landscape. That’s why public libraries have been willing to pay higher prices for digital formats. But limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for patrons most dependent on libraries. We also respectfully point out that public libraries contribute an incalculable amount each year to promoting authors, books and a rich reading culture. We add thousands of books and materials in multiple formats, host book-related programs and provide online lists and personal recommendations further connecting readers to books. Patrons use libraries not just to borrow books, but also to discover books they may promote to friends and decide to purchase.
We want you to be aware of the potential of long waiting lists for some of your favorite authors in the cloudLibrary. We also wanted you to have the opportunity learn more about this issue and how you can support libraries’ ability to provide equal access to information through #eBooksForAll. Visit these links: