Today, on the eve of the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Macmillan Publishers announced that it will enter the library e-book lending market (with a pilot program) by March 2013. Read the Macmillan press release for more details.
In response to the announcement, ALA President Maureen Sullivan immediately released the following statement:
“I am so pleased Macmillan Publishers is beginning to sell e-books to America’s libraries so that we may connect their authors and our readers in the digital age. This is a welcome acknowledgment of our advocacy and the importance of the library market. We have always known that library lending encourages patrons to experiment by sampling new authors, topics and genres. This experimentation stimulates the market for books, with the library serving as a critical de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.
“Almost exactly one year ago, the ALA began this conversation with Macmillan CEO John Sargent and his leadership team, and regular communications have continued as the company stated it would launch its pilot last September. While today’s announcement is only a first step, we look forward to the release of more details about the pilot and continuing work together to bring even more Macmilllan e-titles to libraries in the future.
“I am glad they are willing to try new business models in collaboration with libraries. This is an important development in our evolving relationship with publishers and intermediaries. ALA and our nation’s libraries welcome new partners in creating and supporting a nation of readers.
“We will continue our work to develop these relationships and to create new opportunities with publishers, authors and intermediaries to support a healthy reading ecosystem.
“Libraries stand with readers, thinkers, writers, dreamers and inventors. Books and knowledge — in all their forms — are essential.”