American Library Association (ALA) President Molly Raphael issued a statement today in response to the announcement that Penguin Group USA has decided to stop offering e-books or audiobooks to libraries through Overdrive, a leading supplier…
“Yesterday, Penguin Group USA called to alert us that they will no longer offer any e-books or audiobooks to libraries through OverDrive. While libraries are expected to have continued access to Penguin e-books already included in their catalogs, the effect today is that readers will have less access to Penguin titles through their local libraries.
“Despite this discouraging development, we are hopeful Penguin will continue to seek a solution to make its titles available to libraries. As Penguin stated, ‘…it is vital that we forge relationships with libraries and build a future together.’ We are committed to helping build this future.
And as noted in the Publishers Lunch post Penguin Withdraws From Overdrive; Looks For New Library Partners Penguin also says that “the company expects to establish an agreement with one or more new vendors to resume digital library lending, under a different set of business conditions.” The post goes on to say that “there is some talk about lending ebooks to patrons from within library branches, the same way physical media is lent, rather than lending ebooks online.” This idea behind this approach is to imitate “the current process of how other library materials are lent … restoring the “friction” that differentiates libraries from online shopping, and reinforces libraries themselves as a destination and resource for patrons.”