On January the 1st 2016 Penguin Random House has implemented new terms for libraries. Every new e-book that is purchased from companies like 3M, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive have the one copy/ one user lending model. Additionally, all of the e-books you buy will never expire unless you stop doing business with your digital provider. If a library has titles purchased prior to January 1, 2016 will still have the one year term expiration that falls under PRH’s previous lending model.
95% of all US libraries have an e-book collection and Overdrive currently does business with 90% of them. The company has announced a new promotion that includes 1,300 of their classic and bestselling titles including The Martian, Fates and Furies, The Girl on the Train and countless others. There are some good deals to be had for collection managers, but keep in mind this expires February 28th 2016.
Librarians are visibly excited about the new e-book terms. Shellie Cocking of the San Francisco Public Library said “We spend a huge amount of staff time monitoring titles that expire and deciding if we want to purchase them again. We all hope that other publishers follow Penguin/Random House lead. Even having a mix model where you can purchase either or perpetual licenses or a metered license would be good. That may allow libraries to purchase large numbers to cover short term demand, but have that perpetual license copy to ensure the title stays in the collection until we choose to remove it.”
“Once we manage to ensure we have perpetual licenses for our current collection, we will be able to spend more time actually curating our collections.” she said.
“Penguin Random House is leading the way to a more flexible pricing model for library e-books. This is a positive step in the right direction, and we look forward to productive discussions with all multinational publishers to continue to make progress on pricing issues,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian at Toronto Public Library.
“With their new pricing formula, Penguin Random House is recognizing that libraries are key players in the publishing industry, both as major purchasers of books and e-books, and promoters of literacy.” said Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board. “We hope other multinational publishers will follow suit with flexible and affordable e-book pricing so library customers can discover new authors and genres to fuel a life-long love of reading.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.