For immediate release | February 10, 2012

ALA responds to Penguin’s decision to discontinue digital media sales to libraries via Overdrive

CHICAGO – 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.

The announcement comes in the wake of meetings in New York between Raphael and an ALA delegation and representatives from publishers Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster and Perseus.

Raphael’s statement reads as follows:

“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.

“This is a radically dynamic time of change, and we look forward to crafting stable and sustainable business models that enable libraries and publishers to connect readers and authors in the digital age as successfully as we have done since Gutenberg. We all need to work together—and quickly—to bring about full access to e-books in libraries for everyone, and especially for those readers who depend on libraries as their only source of reading material.”

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with nearly 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.



Larra Clark