Ebooks, Publishers and Libraries. A Bibliography Of The Conflict


Publishers and Libraries have been at odds over ebooks for some time now. I’ve collected a sampling of articles and blog posts from the past 18 months chronicling the conflict.

What Do Children’s Book Consumers Want?

Type Newspaper Article
Publication PublishersWeekly.com
Date 31 Jan 2011
URL http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/45943-what-do-children-s-book-consumers-want-.html


  • Librarians affected 24% of YA reading decisions, bookstores not so much.
  • Over 80% of teens don’t read e-books, with only 5% saying that they do so frequently.

How Libraries Are Bypassing Big Publishers To Build Their E-Book Offerings

Type Newspaper Article
Author Laura Hazard Owen
Publication paidContent
Date 16 May 2011
URL http://paidcontent.org/article/419-how-libraries-are-bypassing-big-publishers-to-build-their-ebook-offerin/


  • librarians are turning to smaller presses, which are less
    restrictive about offering access to their ebooks.
  • [Angela James, Executive Editor of Harlequin’s Carina Press] predicts that romance e-book originals will be a hit for libraries. “Romance readers are such voracious readers and they can’t
    afford to buy all that content,” she says. They also tend to be very loyal to specific authors, so checking out e-books in libraries gives them a chance to try out authors they’re unfamiliar with, she says.

E-Book Checkouts From Libraries Up 200 Percent Over 2010

Type Newspaper Article
Author Laura Hazard Owen
Publication paidContent
Date 2011 Oct 12
URL http://paidcontent.org/article/419-e-book-checkouts-from-libraries-up-200-percent-over-2010/


  • more readers are now browsing library offerings from their smartphones and tablets, and mobile checkouts now make up 21 percent of overall checkouts, OverDrive says.
  • Over 15,000 public and school libraries are using OverDrive
  • two-thirds of public libraries in the U.S. now offer e-book checkouts.
  • OverDrive says e-book checkouts nearly tripled through September 30, compared to all of 2010. E-books have been checked out 12 million times so far this year.

Why Might A Publisher Pull Its E-Books From Libraries?

Type Newspaper Article
Author Laura Hazard Owen
Publication paidContent
Date 2011 Nov 22
URL http://paidcontent.org/article/419-why-might-a-publisher-pull-its-e-books-from-libraries/


  • Penguin, citing security concerns, is pulling its new e-books from libraries—and making none of them available for library lending through Kindle

Could ebooks kill off our libraries? Publishers show security concern

Type Newspaper Article
Author Ross McGuinness
Publication Metro UK
Date 2011 Nov 24
Section In Focus
Short Title Could ebooks kill off our libraries?
URL http://www.metro.co.uk/news/newsfocus/882736-could-ebooks-kill-off-our-libraries-publishers-show-security-concern


  • “One of the key places authors are discovered is at libraries. To a
    certain extent, by doing this, Penguin is cutting off its nose to spite
    its face.’

Library Wars: Amazon and Publishers Vie for Control of E-Book Rentals

Type Web Page
Author Peter Osnos
Website Title The Atlantic
Date Dec 6 2011, 1:25 PM ET
Short Title Library Wars
URL http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/library-wars-amazon-and-publishers-vie-for-control-of-e-book-rentals/249544/


  • “When Amazon changed that policy this past September, library patron access to
    e-books substantially increased, and publishers privately expressed concern that substantial numbers of e-book buyers would become borrowers instead.”
  • “According to Publishers Weekly, Ruth Liebmann, director of
    account marketing at Random House, made the best case on behalf of
    the libraries earlier this year. “A library book does not compete with
    a sale,” she said, “A library book is a sale.” Libraries are comparable to independent booksellers as a percentage of business, and they “never send books back.”
  • “Among the big six publishers, only Random House has been selling e-books to libraries without restrictions, and a spokesman said that it is now “actively reviewing” its position. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not sell e-books to libraries at all. Hachette and Penguin withhold their newest titles, and HarperCollins caps the number of times a book can be loaned at 26 after which, in principle, it needs to be repurchased.

For Libraries and Publishers, an E-Book Tug of War

Type Newspaper Article
Author Randall Stross
Publication The New York Times
Date 2011-12-24
Section Business Day
ISSN 0362-4331
URL http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/25/business/for-libraries-and-publishers-an-e-book-tug-of-war.html


  • On Friction :”Borrowing a printed book from the library imposes an inconvenience upon its patrons. “You have to walk or drive to the library, then walk or drive back to return it,” says Maja Thomas, a senior vice president of the Hachettte Book Group” — Hachette stopped making its e-books available to libraries in 2009.

No More New Penguin Digital Audiobooks For Libraries, Either

Type Newspaper Article
Author Laura Hazard Owen
Publication paidContent
Date 18 Jan 2012
URL http://paidcontent.org/article/419-no-more-new-penguin-digital-audiobooks-for-libraries-either/


  • Hoping to skirt Penguin’s library e-book restrictions by checking out a hot new title as a digital audiobook instead? Sorry, that strategy will no longer work as Penguin changed its library policies again today.

New Stats: 2011 Libraries’ Digital Checkouts Up 133% Over 2010

Type Newspaper Article
Author Laura Hazard Owen
Publication paidContent
Date 19 Jan 2012
URL http://paidcontent.org/article/419-new-stats-2011-library-e-book-checkouts-up-133-over-2010/


  • Publishers are pulling e-books and digital audiobooks from libraries, but the demand for those materials is increasing exponentially: New stats from digital library distributor OverDrive show that library patrons checked out 35 million digital titles* in 2011, up from 15 million checkouts in 2010.

Ebook library borrowing hits record pace

Type Web Page
Author Matt Hamblen
Website Title MacWorld
Date 2012 Jan 20
URL http://www.macworld.com/article/164918/2012/01/ebook_library_borrowing_hits_record_pace.html


  • Boston libraries – ebook demand more than tripled in December, compared to December 2010. For the first half of January, more than 700 people a day tried to borrow an ebook, or added
    their name to a long waiting list for some of the more popular titles.
  • New York Public Library – 2907 ebooks and materials were checked out on Dec. 26, 2011, vs 1523 checked out on the same date in 2010

ALA Midwinter 2012: ALA To Meet With Top Executives of Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin on Ebook Lending

Type Web Page
Author Michael Kelley
Date 2012 Jan 22
URL http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/01/publishing/ala-to-meet-with-top-executives-of-macmillan-simon-schuster-and-penguin-on-ebook-lending/

Pew Says Ownership of Tablets and E-Readers Doubled Over the Holidays

Type Newspaper Article
Author Peter Brantley
Publication PublishersWeekly.com
Date 22 Jan 2012
URL http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/50311-pew-says-ownership-of-tablets-and-e-readers-doubled-over-the-holidays.html?


  • The Pew Internet and American Life Project today released a mini-report on the adoption of tablets and e-readers that the number of Americans owning e-reader devices jumped from 18% to 29%, meaning that nearly 1 in 3 Americans now owns a device.
  • the recent launch of Apple’s iBooks Author with a proprietary ibooks format, and the tremendous success of the Kindle Fire tablet with Amazon’s proprietary KF8 format, highlights the growing silo-ization of the e-book market

The Santa Barbara Independent Digital Lending Attracts New Users to the Public Library

Type Newspaper Article
Publication The Santa Barbara Independent
Date 2012 Jan 23
URL http://www.independent.com/news/2012/jan/22/digital-lending-attracts-new-users-public-library/

Penguin Severs Ties with OverDrive

Type Newspaper Article
Author Calvin Reid
Abstract Penguin is terminating its contract with OverDrive, the library
digital vendor, and starting February 10 will cease to offer any of its
e-books or audiobooks to libraries.
Publication PublishersWeekly.com
Date 9 Feb 2012
URL http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/50579-penguin-severs-ties-with-overdrive.html?

Penguin Group Terminating Its Contract with OverDrive — The Digital Shift

Type Web Page
Author Kelley
Date 9 Feb 2012
URL http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/02/ebooks/penguin-group-terminating-its-contract-with-overdrive/

We will measure our loss « PWxyz

Type Web Page
Author Peter Brantley
Date 13 Feb 2012
URL http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/2012/02/13/we-will-measure-our-loss/


  • Ebooks are curb cuts for libraries…. At the moment when we have the opportunity to
    improve the lives of many of our neighbors, publishers concern themselves with competitive positioning and an appropriate amount of “friction” in library access.
  • “Libraries are not auto parts dealers, and Penguin is not an automobile manufacturer, unhappy that a distributor is making non-OEM parts available to consumers. Not permitting libraries to lend ebooks means that some people have less opportunity in their lives than others. That requires a better explanation than being scared about the revenue impact of letting people read for free without having any data to back it up.”

Melville House Books » Libraries respond to Penguin, and it’s not pretty

Type Blog Post
Author Dennis Johnson
Abstract Fallout continues over Penguin’s decision to terminate its contract with library ebook distributor OverDrive
Blog Title Melville House books
Website Type Blog
Date 13 Feb 2012
URL http://mhpbooks.com/49509/libraries-respond-to-penguin-and-its-not-pretty/


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