Libraries Are Not Amused At Penguin's Decision To Stop Lending eBooks

Penguin stops lending eBooks

Via Galleycat:

Publisher's decision to work with libraries and the third-party client, Overdrive, to allow the lending of eBooks to Kindle owners has been one of the few things that has warmed lovers of actual books to the idea of digital readers. That, and the fact that it's basically saving the industry. So publishers are predictably doing what they always do: ruining a good thing, by deciding to no longer allow libraries to lend their eBooks. And the librarians are not happy.

Yesterday, Penguin released a statement saying that they would no longer be offering their titles on Overdrive, and thus, no longer letting libraries digitally stock them (until, ostensibly, they find another client that they like... and until libraries also adopt that same client, which seems far-fetched and a lot like circular excuse-y talk). And they're not the only ones--Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and others have already barred libraries from buying their eBooks for lending purposes. Which has spurred the director of the San Rafael Public Library, Sarah Houghton, to take action. 

In a blog post yesterday on the library's website, Houghton called out the publishers who haven't been letting libraries purchase their eBooks for lending. In the post, she included the information of each publisher, and encouraged Kindle-reading library patrons to reach out and speak up. 

Public outcry has achieved a lot in the last few months (just ask Planned Parenthood, the lawmakers who backed away from SOPA and PIPA, and  Verizon), and if there's one group that gets angry, it's the literary crowd. Feel free to send some strongly-worded letters. 

Image via the Manchester Library on Flickr

Hanna Brooks Olsen

News by Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Seattle. She's a regular contributor to Seattle Pulp, where she also hosts a podcast, and an associate editor at Blisstree. Follow her on Twitter to see the kind of non-sequiturs that 20-somethings enjoy, as well as the occasional live-blogging of various political events. You may visit her online at

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Jason C's picture
Jason C from Quad Cities, Iowa is reading Growing Up Dead In Texas by Stephen Graham Jones February 12, 2012 - 1:41am

Penguin's a bunch of dicks.