Penguin and Random House will be introducing new e-book terms for libraries that begin on January 1st 2016. Libraries will no longer worry about their titles expiring after a few loans or have to purchase them again every year. Librarians are also full of glee that the overall price of buying digital content will also decrease in price.
Shellie Cocking of the San Francisco Public Library are excited about the new changes. “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.”
The ultimate winners of the price of e-books coming down for libraries and the titles never expiring are the patrons. Whether you use your trust e-reader or use an iPad, starting January there will be more e-books available to borrow and they will stay in the libraries system forever.
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.