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One of the largest publishing companies, Macmillan Publishers and their CEO John Sargent, is set to severely limit access to e-books licensed to libraries. This includes a multitude of smaller imprints under the Macmillan umbrella.

ALA #EBooksForAll logo on red background

What is Macmillan doing?
As of November 1, “library systems” will now be allowed to purchase a single – that is, one – perpetual access e-books during the first eight weeks of publication for each new Macmillan release, at half price ($30). Additional copies will then be available at full price (generally $60 for new releases) after the eight-week window has passed. All other terms remain the same: e-book licenses will continue to be metered for two years or 52 lends, whichever comes first, on a one copy/one user model.

How does this affect you?
Unfortunately, this means that if you place a hold on a Macmillan e-book through NH Downloadable Books (Libby and OverDrive), wait times on titles will be considerably longer than they have ever been. The Goffstown Public Library, as part of the GMILCS consortium, has the ability to also provide a copy of these e-book titles through the CloudLibrary, that may ease long wait times.

What is Goffstown Public Library doing?
For the moment, we are joining protests with the New Hampshire Library Association and the American Library Association. Dialog still continues about how to best educate our readers about this action, and several states and their attorney generals, library consortiums, and large city libraries are exploring legal action against Macmillan Publishers. We realize that patrons will not have timely access to digital copies of some popular Macmillan titles and authors. We believe this unfair model goes against everything libraries stand for: equitable access to information.

Read more:


Five messages from LibrariesTransform