#eBooksForAll Update | March 2020

Macmillan Publishers CEO John Sargent announced that the company would lift its embargo on library purchasing of eBooks and return to the pricing model that was in effect before Nov. 1, 2019. This is great news that ensures equal access for all customers. Thank you for your support during this fight!


#eBooksForAll Update | October 2019

Effective Nov. 1, 2019, we joined other large library systems in choosing to no longer purchase newly released eBooks from Macmillan Publishers. Unfortunately, new releases from some of your favorite authors will no longer be available in a digital format.

We don’t take this decision lightly. We’ve spent months urging Macmillan Publishers to reconsider its planned library eBook embargo which restricts public libraries of all sizes to purchasing only one copy of a newly released eBook for the first eight weeks after publication. Despite our greatest efforts – and those of library systems and advocates across the country – Macmillan Publishers is moving forward with their embargo.

Columbus Metropolitan Library’s choice to suspend the purchase of new Macmillan eBooks is a stand against limiting equal access to our customers.

We’ve strived to maintain minimal wait times for popular eBooks by purchasing an adequate number of copies. If we’re limited to one digital copy of each new title and have to wait eight weeks before being able to purchase additional copies, you could conceivably wait months rather than weeks for your eBook.

To continue to ensure reasonable wait times for newly released eBooks, we’ll choose to spend our dollars with publishers who are willing to sell to Columbus Metropolitan Library without a purchasing embargo. We’ll continue to purchase Macmillan titles that are not embargoed, including print materials, eAudiobooks and older copies of best-selling eBooks.

Help Us Protect Your Access to eBooks and eAudiobooks

Some of the largest publishers in the country are working to make it harder for public libraries to buy eBooks and eAudiobooks by the authors you love.

Public libraries already pay more for eBooks and eAudiobooks than individual consumers pay from retailers like Amazon. We do this because we know that equal access to digital content is critical for a thriving community where wisdom prevails.

In the past, libraries could purchase an eBook and own it forever. Now, the “Big 5” publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster) require libraries to repurchase eBooks after a certain period of time or after a certain number of checkouts.

Macmillan has gone one step further and announced plans to allow libraries to purchase only one copy of each new digital title for the first eight weeks after its release. This means there will be fewer copies of titles from your favorite authors – such as Jonathan Franzen, Kristin Hannah, Liane Moriarty, Louise Penny, Nora Roberts and many more – so wait times will be longer.

Sign the petition at ebooksforall.org to let Macmillan know that providing equal access to digital content for ALL of our customers is the right thing to do.