ND State Library Denounces Publisher’s New Policy

Local News

The North Dakota State Library just joined the American Library Association in denouncing one publisher’s new lending policy.

KX News sat down with the State Librarian to find out how this could affect your book rentals.

Nothing is changing with your paperback novels, but if e-books are more your style, MacMillan Publishers’ policy could cause you a problem.

It says libraries can only buy one copy of their e-books for the first eight weeks after it’s published, a rule that’s never been in place for physical books.

But MacMillan is not the only one, book publishers have put several policies in place in the last few years, including making libraries re-purchase an e-book after a certain amount of time, or a certain number of rentals.

The State Librarian says publishers are limiting access for all readers and harming libraries with the added cost, which could be hundreds of dollars for just one book.

She calls the policy unfortunate and says it hurts all libraries, but the small ones in particular.

North Dakota libraries have been offering e-books for two years now…and usage continues to climb.

The North Dakota State Librarian, Mary Soucie shares, “If you look at Fargo public, they serve 150,000 people. One book is not going to meet the needs of its patrons. Are that many people really going to go out and buy the book within that eight weeks because they couldn’t get it through their library? Or, are they going to get frustrated and just go read another title and quit reading MacMillan books because they can’t get them.”

The State Library is encouraging people to reach out to MacMillan publishing’s CEO John Sargent, to encourage him to eliminate this and other policies that limit your local library’s access to the books you want to read.

Soucie says our library is still deciding what to do, but Connecticut’s State Library has already made the decision to drop MacMillan Publishers.

If nothing changes, the policy will take effect on November 1st.

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