ALA welcomes Macmillan expansion of its public library e-lending program

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/29/2014


Larra Clark

Program Director, Washington Office

American Library Association


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Macmillan announces that its frontlist ebooks will be available through its public library e-lending program. ALA President Courtney Young released the following statement:

“The Macmillan expansion of its library ebook program represents another important development for improving the ability of libraries to serve America’s communities. One of the most fundamental relationships and roles of libraries is to connect authors and readers. Library lending encourages experimentation, enabling people to sample new authors, topics, and genres, and stimulates the market for books. Thus libraries are a critical de facto discovery, promotion and awareness service for authors and publishers.”

“ALA’s first meeting with Macmillan CEO John Sargent and his leadership team took place at the beginning of 2012. At that meeting, it was clear that our ideas about library ebook lending were highly divergent. We have both learned a lot since that time, and the market has evolved considerably. We are pleased that Macmillan has transitioned from no library ebook lending to limited pilots and now to offering its full ebook catalog to libraries.”

“Today represents an important step forward in ensuring that the public has access to the full range of digital content. However, we must remember that the digital content marketplace is in the midst of a revolution, and thus many more issues remain to be addressed. ALA looks forward to continuing discussions with Macmillan, and more broadly with authors, authors’ representatives, publishers, distributors, and retailers to create new opportunities to support a healthy reading ecosystem for the digital age.”

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.



We are being allowed to use Macmillan's books (like with S&S a Penguin) for a limited time. While this is good short term news for the patrons who benefit, it is also bad news for some very important aspects of libraries -- that they curate and make a broad range of materials available down the road. To keep a Macmillan book on the shelf for 10 years would cost $420; 20 years $820. And, they are only available for libraries who use the Advantage program which for a consortia means that only the patron's of the library that bought it can use it. This would mean to make a book available to all patrons in a consortia each library would have to buy it. What kind of message does this send to our true publisher partners?