News Flash

Life at the Library

Posted on: October 21, 2019

Libraries oppose new eBook restrictions from Macmillan

#eBooksForAll graphic

Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will only allow libraries to purchase one copy of new eBook titles for the first eight weeks after a book's release.

That means we will have just a single copy of new, popular titles by authors like Louise Penny, Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb during the first weeks after those books are published. We expect this will result in longer waitlists for Macmillan ebooks.

This week, the directors of all Twin Cities metro libraries published a piece in the Star Tribune outlining our opposition to this new policy and what readers can do to share their opinions on it.

Why is this bad?

While any decision that limits library’s ability to provide community members with access to books is concerning, the Star Tribune piece includes two broad issues:

  • We will not be able to buy sufficient copies of popular titles to meet demand, or offer access to all titles in the formats our community members want and need.
  • We know that limiting our access to e-books will impact the people who rely on libraries most. This includes residents with limited incomes who cannot afford to purchase e-books, and those with physical disabilities. For many, the lightweight e-readers are easier to hold and provide flexible font size and spacing options that make books more accessible.

What books or authors are affected by this embargo?

Macmillan is a large publishing house that is home to many popular authors like:

Augusten Burroughs
Toil & Trouble: A Memoir
Yangsze Choo
The Night Tiger
Sarah Blake
The Guest Book
Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
W. Bruce Cameron
A Dog’s Promise
Terry Tempest Williams
Erosion: Essays of Undoing
Shelley Noble
A Beach Wish
Hilary Mantel
Wolf Hall
Gregg Hurwitz
Orphan X
Kelley Armstrong
Sea of Shadows
Steve Berry
The Malta Exchange
Phillip Margolin
The Perfect Alibi
Sandra Dallas
Someplace to Call Home
Diane Chamberlain
The Dream Daughter
J.D. Robb
Golden in Death
R.A. Salvatore
Boundless

Is there anything you can do? 

The American Library Association has created a petition called #eBooksForAll. More than 100,000 readers have already signed this petition asking Macmillan to reverse their decision.

 If you disagree, you can sign the petition and share it with your friends and family: www.ebooksforall.org.

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