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Written by Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Library Director

What's Changing

Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will implement significant changes to how they permit libraries to license and loan their eBooks. These changes will have a negative impact on Library customers. These changes are as follows:

  • For the first eight weeks from the publication date, Macmillan will only allow libraries to license and loan one copy of any title. This means the 800,000+ residents of Hamilton County will have to share one copy of an eBook published by Macmillan for the first two months of its publication. Nora Roberts’ book, The Rise of Magicks, will be released on Nov. 26th, and we currently have over 252 holds already placed on that title. With Macmillan only allowing us to license one e-version of the title the first eight weeks of its release, that means only the first eight people on the waitlist will be able to read the book between November 26 and January 26, assuming they all read the title in one weeks’ time. The soonest other customers will have access to the eBook is February 2020.
  • After the eight week window, Macmillan will only permit libraries to license additional copies as “metered access,” which means the title will automatically expire after two years and disappear from the Library’s collection.

What the Library is Doing

The Library is very concerned about these changes because of the negative impact they will have on our customers. We've joined other libraries in opposing them. Here are the step we're taking:

  • In August the Library’s Board of Trustees adopted a resolution outlining our concerns, which was sent to Macmillan CEO John Sargent.
  • In August we sent an email that outlined the issue and our concerns to our customers who use our eContent.
  • We are working with organizations such as the Urban Libraries Council to advocate as a group for Macmillan to reconsider its decision.
  • We’ve leveraged social media to call on community members to share their concerns about the issue.



What You Can Do

  • Sign this petition at eBooksForAll.org and encourage others to do the same.
  • Text EBOOKS to 40649 to call on Macmillan to treat public libraries as collaborators rather than competitors.
  • Join the discussion on social media with #eBooksForAll

Learn More 

You can learn more about this topic by reading articles from these news outlets and organizations: