PA supports Penguin e-lending bar

The Publishers Association has spoken out in support of Penguin UK's move to withhold the supply of its new e-book releases to library suppliers, with a new round of talks set to begin between the PA, the Society of Chief Librarians and The Reading Agency in an attempt to resolve the issues surrounding digital lending.

Penguin UK announced this morning [24th November] that it would be withholding new e-books from UK library suppliers, saying that it supported libraries but wanted "to strike the right balance between access to our content and the protection of our authors' copyright."

The move echoed the stance taken by Penguin US earlier this week. PA c.e.o. Richard Mollet said: "Today's announcement [by Penguin UK] underlines what the Publishers Association has been saying for some time about the risks around e-lending. Whilst publishers are and always have been fully supportive of libraries, it also has to be recognised that in this still developing area, it is right to be concerned about the security of digital files in the supply chain."

However Fiona Marriott, head of libraries at Luton, called Penguin UK's decision "a bit devastating." She added: "I’m hoping it’s only temporary. Discussions are starting again between the Publishers Association, the Society of Chief Librarians and The Reading Agency where we hope we can get the ball rolling. It’s a long-term problem."

The PA confirmed that the new round of talks will begin in December.