Major public library system will boycott Macmillan e-books

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Major public library system will boycott Macmillan e-books

Oct 16 2019

King County (WA) Library System, the nation's top digital-circulating library has said it will stop buying new release Macmillan e-books once the publishers' two-month embargo begins next month.

In her note, executive director Lisa Rosenblum said King County’s decision was ultimately driven by two reasons: one “pragmatic” and the other “principled.” ...

As for the pragmatic side, Rosenblum explained that King County has pledged to readers to limit the wait time for any title to around 3 months. “Not allowing us to purchase multiple copies of an e-book for two months artificially lengthens the queue, triggering more of the same title to be purchased than would have occurred if we had been allowed to buy for the first two months,” ...

The "principled" argument, Rosenblum says, is to send a message to other publishers that public libraries cannot accept limits on basic access. To do so, she writes, would “profoundly” change the public library.

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