It’s been a long time in the making, but Amazon Publishing finally has some big news to share: the traditional arm of Amazon’s company will work with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to put its 10,000-plus titles in libraries. Previously, Amazon Publishing has not offered ebook lending through public libraries, unlike many traditional publishers–albeit publishers who have some pretty odd requirements for their titles.
This deal will allow library patrons to borrow Amazon Publishing titles without having to download special add-ons, without having to use their Amazon accounts, and more importantly, without having to forfeit their data or privacy to “the Zon” in order to read a book.
According to a report from Publisher’s Weekly, “The deal represents a major step forward for the digital library market. Not only is Amazon Publishing finally making its digital content available to libraries, the deal gives libraries a range of models through which it can license the content, offering libraries the kind of flexibility librarians have long asked for from the major publishers.”
There are different models that libraries can choose from, which is another great benefit of the deal. Large library systems with sizeable budgets and enormous patron bases aren’t held to the same terms as an out-of-the-way institution with less funding.
Something else that has taken place under this deal is a shift to how many other publishers negotiate with libraries for digital lending. Amazon Publishing and DPLA have come together to offer different options, including an unlimited-single checkout plan based on a calendar timeframe, and a 26-checkout model that is more common among traditional publishers.
While publishers and libraries still struggle to come to an agreement on meeting patrons’ needs while respecting shrinking budgets, it’s good to see any progressive movement in ebook lending. Hopefully, it will be a sooner-rather-than-later issue for other publishers to take note and follow suit.