Multnomah County Library Will No Longer Buy New Macmillan E-Books

  • Multnomah County Library Will No Longer Buy New Macmillan E-Books

The Multnomah County Library announced Tuesday that it will stop buying e-books from Macmillan Publishing after new restrictions from the publisher.

That decision came after Macmillan said in September it would impose a restriction on libraries, allowing them to purchase only a single copy of a new e-book for the first eight weeks of its release. That restriction went into effect last Friday.

Macmillan has said that libraries have undercut publishers’ profits by allowing free access to e-books that readers would otherwise purchase.

“Like others who lead public library systems across the United States, I am deeply worried that other publishers will follow suit, undermining the ability of libraries to provide resources in the ways people want to use them,” Vailey Oehlke, director of libraries at Multnomah County Library, said in a statement. “We want Macmillan to end this policy.”

Oehlke said the library will continue buying Macmillan titles in print and audiobook formats, but will no longer purchase new e-books from the publisher.

“When you can only buy something from one source and the terms of that purchase become this unreasonable, it’s time to say ‘no more,’” Oehlke said.

Multnomah County Library has spent nearly $120,000 on e-books from Macmillan this year, she said.

The Deschutes County Library also said the restriction will have a “big impact” on Central Oregon e-book readers, according to the Bend Bulletin, though it hasn’t stated any intent to cut ties with Macmillan.

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