Libraries, publishers, and the battle over e-books : Planet Money : NPR

Kenneth Palmer

ALA customers Alan Inouye, Barb Macikas, and Sari Feldman march in direction of the offices of a main publisher, Macmillan, in Manhattan. They carry containers of petitions dealt with to John Sargent, at the time Macmillan’s CEO. The petitions protest a controversial plan on e-publications in libraries.


American Library Affiliation/ALA


conceal caption

toggle caption



American Library Affiliation/ALA


ALA customers Alan Inouye, Barb Macikas, and Sari Feldman march toward the offices of a big publisher, Macmillan, in Manhattan. They have bins of petitions tackled to John Sargent, at the time Macmillan’s CEO. The petitions protest a controversial policy on e-guides in libraries.



American Library Association/ALA

In 2019, a group of librarians (quietly) stormed the workplaces of a significant guide publisher, Macmillan. They carried boxes stuffed with petitions. They’d collected countless numbers of signatures, and now, they required to supply them in particular person. Their aim: to place an conclude to a controversial policy known as “windowing.” It would prohibit libraries from loaning out far more than just one duplicate of a new e-ebook in the to start with 8 weeks following its launch, major to very long hold out situations for bestsellers. Librarians observed this as a risk to their mission to freely share understanding with the public.

But Macmillan claimed: we are the ones who are threatened listed here. More and far more people are borrowing e-books from libraries. And of course, when you borrow a reserve, you will not obtain it. Publishers commenced to really feel that libraries had been threatening their business enterprise design, and building it more challenging for authors to remain afloat, as well.

It truly is in some approaches a familiar story. An sector goes digital, and that alterations the calculation of who would make funds. Think audio streaming–Spotify comes together, and musicians and labels have to adapt. Besides, in this scenario, the organization that Macmillan reported was disrupting the whole system was…the pleasant nearby library.

On present day clearly show, we go inside of the fight between libraries and publishers above e-guides. The stakes could not be higher: every person feels like they’re battling for their extremely right to exist.

New music: “Tales from the Attic,” “Hunky Dory,” and “When You’re Long gone.”

Aid aid Earth Revenue and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Revenue+ in Apple Podcasts or at moreover.npr.org/planetmoney.

Generally cost-free at these back links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR Just one or wherever you get podcasts

Discover additional World Income: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / TikTok our weekly Newsletter.

Next Post

Purdue Commits to Physical AI Research, More Online Learning

Purdue College aims to capitalize on rapid-expanding curiosity and potential in synthetic intelligence with a new study hub, for which it will hire 50 new tenure-keep track of college members over the next five many years. In accordance to a information launch this 7 days, the new “Purdue Computes” initiative […]
Purdue Commits to Physical AI Research, More Online Learning