Macmillan has announced a new pilot project that will see a limited number of ebooks distributed to libraries. There are no firm details on how the distribution will work or if Macmillan will do business with Overdrive. In a statement today the company said, “We have been working hard to develop an ebook lending model that works for all parties, as we value the libraries and the role they play in the reading community. We are currently finalizing the details of our pilot program and will be announcing it when we are ready, and not in reaction to a demand.”
This marks the second time in recent months that a major publisher is rolling out a limited pilot program to test the waters. Starting this fall, Penguin is making ebooks available at the NYCPL and and Brooklyn Public Library via 3M Cloud Library system. All of the books will come with a one year lease and then will expire. Libraries will have to re-purchase the books for patrons to borrow after this period is over. This expiry system is very similar to how the Harry Potter series of books works at your local library, except those expire in five years.
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 CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.