Penguin eBooks are now available to borrow from libraries in the US via Overdrive and Axis 360. This marks the first time in many years that titles from this publisher are available and has been a long time coming.
Overdrive initially had a solid agreement with Penguin, but the publisher suspended digital eBooks a year and a half ago. They decided to go with 3M, who has a much smaller footprint and is exclusive to the USA. The reason the Overdrive/Penguin relationship with suspended was due to security concerns with downloading books directly from Amazon. You can now borrow books once again on Kindle e-Readers but you have to transfer them via USB.
Overdrive says Penguin will charge libraries $18.99 for “popular new releases” and $5.99 to $9.99 for older titles. An eBook can only be checked out by one user at a time and the library will have to buy a new copy after a year.
In Fall 2012, two Axis 360 libraries participated in a test program circulating select Penguin Group eBooks to patrons. As a result of the successful partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library, Penguin is now making its full eBook catalog, including DK titles, available to all public libraries using Axis 360. The two sides have now expanded on the relationship and Penguin titles are now available to any library doing business with Baker and Taylor.
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.