Penguin US halts library e-lending

Penguin US halts library e-lending

Penguin Group USA will no longer make e-book versions of its titles available for library lending, citing "new concerns about the security of our digital editions".

In a statement released to website LibraryJournal, and reported on its blog The Digital Shift, Erica Glass, Penguin US media relations manager, said: "Penguin has been a long-time supporter of libraries with both physical and digital editions of our books. We have always placed a high value on the role that libraries can play in connecting our authors with our readers.

"However, due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners.

"Penguin's aim is to always connect writers and readers, and with that goal in mind, we remain committed to working closely with our business partners and the library community to forge a distribution model that is secure and viable. In the meantime, we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere."

OverDrive, the largest provider of e-books to public libraries in the States, posted this statement on its Digital Library Blog: "Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of its e-books. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin e-book titles from our library catalogue and disable 'Get for Kindle' functionality for all Penguin e-books. We apologise for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible."

The move from Penguin US comes weeks after Amazon launched its Kindle Owners' Lending Library for Amazon Prime subscribers, a new service which enables them to read more than 5,000 Kindle e-book titles free. The service enables them to borrow one book per month, with no specific date when the book will expire.