Macmillan drops controversial US e-book library policy

Macmillan drops controversial US e-book library policy

Macmillan has abandoned its controversial lending policy on e-books for US libraries in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Last November, the publisher caused an outcry after changing its policy to limit library purchases to only one copy of each new e-book title for the first eight weeks after its release. Additional copies would then be available for two years of access at a higher cost.

The announcement led to protests by the American Library Association and a partial boycott of Macmillan books by some facilities. Earlier this month, the publisher put forward three different pricing models to librarians.

However, in a message to librarians, authors, illustrators and agents, c.e.o. John Sargent announced the policy had now been dropped. He also said some prices would be temporarily lowered.

He wrote: "There are times in life when differences should be put aside. Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library ebook pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe."