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Kentucky Libraries Unbound joins others across the country to boycott ebooks from Macmillan Publishers

Kentucky Libraries Unbound (KLU) has joined with the American Library Association and library systems across the country in boycotting Macmillan Publishers’ digital materials. 

The boycott is in protest of Macmillan’s change in their eBook licensing model to include limits on library eBook purchases.

On November 1, 2019, Macmillan instituted a change to their eBook licensing. Under the new model, a library (or library consortium like KLU) may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in eBook format for $30, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of the title. 

For Kentucky Libraries Unbound, this means there would be one copy of the title – which could only be checked out to one person at a time – to be shared by the over 60,000 active KLU users across the state of Kentucky, for the first eight weeks.

After the initial eight weeks, additional copies would be available, each with a two-year lease (still checked out to one person at a time) for double the price of the first copy.

Kentucky Libraries Unbound is a partnership between 105 county and city library systems, including those in Boone, Campbell and Grant counties in Northern Kentucky.

These systems, across the state of Kentucky, have joined together to provide their communities with a larger and broader collection of digital resources than each library could achieve individually.

KLU strives to provide equal access to all of their patrons across the state of Kentucky, regardless of the economic barriers they might face.

With the fundamental tenets of the consortium in mind, KLU cannot continue to spend taxpayer money on Macmillan titles under what it views as its unfair and unsustainable licensing terms.

KLU will not purchase new digital titles from MacMillan or additional copies of Macmillan digital titles already in the collection.

For library patrons this will mean longer wait times for already owned titles and that some of their favorite authors’ newest titles may not be added to KLU at all.

Instead KLU will use its funds to purchase titles from publishers that it believes have maintained equitable and fair licenses models for libraries, allowing them to provide the best service to their patrons.

Here’s what you can do to make your voice heard on this issue.

*Sign the American Libraries Organizations’ petition at eBooksForAll.org

*Email Macmillan and ask it to change its policy: elending.feedback@macmillan.com

*Contact your favorite Macmillan authors, like Nora Roberts, Kristin Hannah and Liane Moriarty through their websites, about the injustice of Macmillan’s library ebook embargo

For more information about library ebook issues check out ALA’s Report to Congress: COMPETITION IN DIGITAL MARKETS

Kentucky Libraries Unbound

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