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.
- Macmillan CEO John Sargent, Librarians Spar Over E-book Embargo | Publishers Weekly | Jan. 26, 2020
- Columbus Metro Library Joins Boycott of Macmillan EBooks | Spectrum News 1 Ohio | Nov. 20, 2019
- Columbus Library joins boycott of one of largest publishers in US | NBC4 | Nov. 19, 2019
- Columbus libraries taking stand against Macmillan Publishers after limits to e-book access | ABC6/FOX28 | Nov. 12, 2019
- Ohio libraries fighting publisher limits on digital content, eBooks | Dayton Daily News | Nov. 3, 2019
- Libraries to boycott publisher's e-book policy | Associated Press | Oct. 31, 2019
- Congress Looking into Anticompetitive Behavior in the Digital Library Market | Publishers Weekly | Oct. 24, 2019
- Amazon's latest antitrust foe: Libraries | Axios | Oct. 24, 2019
- Press release: ALA denounces Amazon, Macmillan in response to Congressional inquiry on competition in digital markets | American Library Association | Oct. 24, 2019
- To the editor: Join library effort for eBook access | Toledo Blade | Oct. 14, 2019
- Column: A threat to public library access: e-books no more? | Columbus Dispatch | Oct. 1, 2019
- Limiting library e-books a blow to literacy | San Antonio Express-News | Sept. 27, 2019
- New publishing policy could limit new release e-books, e-audiobooks, and Northeast Ohio libraries aren’t happy | The Plain Dealer | Sept. 26, 2019
- ‘They want to create friction’: Publishers cutting library access to ebooks, audiobooks | WDTN2 | Aug. 20, 2019
- Book publishers putting embargo on libraries | Dayton Daily News | Aug. 19, 2019