FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Macmillan restricts public libraries’ access to eBooks

Local News

OSHKOSH, Wis. ( WFRV ) – Beginning Nov. 1, Macmillan Publishers, a global book publishing company, began limiting all public libraries’ access to their new eBooks during the first eight weeks following their release.

After eight weeks, libraries are allowed to buy additional copies, but at a higher price (generally around $60 each) for a two-year term.

Under Macmillan’s new policy, Winnefox Library System customers will have access to only two copies of each Macmillan eBook title via Overdrive/Libby during the eight-week embargo.

The embargo raises questions about access since many people can not afford to buy every book that interests them.

In a letter sent to libraries nationwide, Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote in part, “We are not trying to hurt libraries – we are trying to balance the needs of the system in a new and complex world. We believe windowing for eight weeks is the best way to do that.”

The American Library Association President Wanda Brown called the new policy “unacceptable” and urged Macmillan to cancel the embargo.

“This embargo hurts readers, libraries and authors,” said Jeff Gilderson Duwe, Oshkosh Public Library Director. “We’re asking our community to visit the website to sign the petition against the embargo, and to learn more about how restricted access impacts their lives.”

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