New York – Some libraries have stopped buying e-book titles
from HarperCollins, after the publisher announced a new policy whereby its
library e-books will expire after they are lent out 26 times, The New York
Where e-books purchased by libraries from publishers were
previously made available in perpetuity, the new limitation by HarperCollins essentially
creates a one-year license for the e-book, given a typical two-week lending
The Times noted that Random House said it has no plans to follow suit — although
it didn’t rule out a similar move in the future — whie trade publishers Simon
& Schuster and Macmillan do not make their e-book titles available to
libraries at all.
"We want e-books in our collections, our customers are
telling us they want e-books, so I want to be able to get e-books from all the
publishers," Anne Silvers Lee, chief of the materials management division
of the Free Library of Philadelphia — which has temporarily stopped buying
HarperCollins e-books — told The Times.
"I also need to do it in a way
that is not going to be exorbitantly expensive."
"We have serious
concerns that our previous e-book policy, selling e-books to libraries in
perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book ecosystem,
hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical
bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid
to authors," HarperCollins told The Times.