ALA welcomes Macmillan expansion of library ebook lending

This month Macmillan will offer its entire ebook backlist to libraries, as reported in Publishers Weekly. Macmillan first entered the library ebook market in January 2013 by offering a pilot of its mystery titles under the Minotaur imprint, then expanded the pilot to romance titles in June. With its third foray into the library ebook market this year, Macmillan is definitely on an “upward trajectory with librarians,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling.

“ALA is pleased to learn of this major expansion of the Macmillan pilot “President Stripling continued. “After a very difficult 2012, the library community has witnessed positive ebook movement from a number of the large publishers. I believe this reflects a growing appreciation among publishers of the value libraries bring by connecting authors and readers millions of times every day in this country.” In addition to Macmillan, libraries have seen improved availability and terms from Penguin (now part of Penguin Random House) and Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster launched a pilot of several libraries in New York City over the past year.

“However, I do want to emphasize that while we’ve seen good progress this year, much more remains to be done,” said Stripling. “Many issues remain on the table, such as multiple licensing options per publisher, full access to newly published titles, conversion of all remaining pilots to nationwide distribution, library pricing that is closer to consumer levels, preservation, privacy, and accommodations for people with disabilities.”

Jazzy Wright is the Press Officer of the American Library Association's Washington Office. Email her at jwright@alawash.org.

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