Your Access to eBooks May Be Restricted!
Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will only allow public libraries to purchase ONE copy of a new eBook for the first 8 weeks. That’s ONE book for the entire 300,000+ residents of Howard County!
What does this mean for you?
- Wait times for some new eBooks will dramatically increase
- Currently Howard County Library System orders multiple eBook copies of a new title and adds more as customers request more.
- With just ONE copy, only a handful (3 – 4) customers will be able to download a new title for the first two months
- Access will be reduced for customers who depend on the library
A Fast Fact
- Libraries already pay more for eMaterials due to excessive pricing structures from publishers
- For example, for a recent new release:
- Library pays $59.99 for 24 months of access
- Customer pays $14.99
Why is this happening?
- Macmillan believes public libraries “cannibalize” publishers’ profits.
- However, a recent Library Journal survey finds:
- One of two people purchase a book they first borrowed from the library
- 76% of people purchase a title by an author they discovered at the library
Why is this important?
- eBooks provide access to customers, especially with those visual and other disabilities who rely on the adjustable text size and spacing
- A library embargo of eBooks deepens the digital divide
- This policy goes against Howard County Library System’s mission and customer service model.
What HCLS is doing for our customers?
- HCLS will continue to purchase the appropriate number of paper book versions of materials and based on our customers’ interest, make recommendations of similar materials.
Creating a strong educational foundation for everyone is vital to building strong communities. Macmillian’s new plan to restrict access to eBooks undermines that foundation and jeopardizes educational opportunities for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds – especially children, customers with low vision, and people with limited means. As an educational institution, Howard County Library System is committed to providing equitable access to all, and we urge Macmillan to change its policy.
If you want to give your input and/or help libraries, you may wish to sign the American Library Association’s petition.
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