To Publishers…

After Penguin’s announcement yesterday, we hope none of the rest of you are planning to disallow library lending of your ebooks. However, if you are considering such a move, please remember to let libraries know before the policy goes into effect.

Libraries are not only your customers, they are your business partners. They display and promote your books, make important One City and reading group picks, and educate the public on new technologies. Barnes and Noble stores regularly send their customers to local libraries to learn how to use the Nook. All over the country, libraries are offering classes on how to use eReaders (the Darien Library is holding one at the perfect time; the day after Christmas).

When a publisher changes its lending policy, libraries are the first to hear the complaints. Penguin cut off lending over the weekend, leaving library users first confused then angry. Since libraries didn’t receive notification until mid-day Monday, they were left blind-sided. If there’s one thing a librarian hates, it’s not being able to answer a question.

It’s unfortunate that Penguin’s move comes on the heels of Amazon allowing library lending via Kindles. Libraries are now facing increased demand and a reduced pool of titles. Please, publishers, respect the difficult position a change of policy puts them in.

7 Responses to “To Publishers…”

  1. Melissa DeWild Says:

    Well put. Thanks, Nora.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Ummm…just so you know, there are many libraries who offer e-reader classes. We do it weekly, sometimes twice a week. Please broaden your horizons.

  3. Nora Rawlinson Says:

    I do know that — I picked out Darien as an example (and love the idea that they are holding a class on Dec. 26th). Love to hear about what you are doing, as well.

  4. Sharon Says:

    I don’t understand Stephen’s comment- you clearly put that libraries all over the country are doing this.
    I really don’t understand Penguin’s decision. There really is no reason to stop the lending- it is no different than lending a hard copy. Most times only one person at a time will have access to the book- just like a hard copy. It is the same lending practice, just a different format.

  5. Grace Says:

    At our library – Harris County Public Library in Houston – we are getting ready to roll out an iPad, Kindle, and Nook to all 26 of our branches. We want all of our staff to be familiar with these devices so that they can assist our customers. These will be used in helping customers at the branches. We’ve had two traveling technology petting zoos for a couple years now, but this will allow daily use of these devices.

    You are absolutely right that we are where people go for help, especially those who are trying to figure out what an eReader, or eBook, is.

  6. Abby Says:

    So theoretically, we’ve paid for these electronic titles, correct? It seems only reasonable then that we should be getting a refund, , does it not?

  7. laura Says:

    Thank you for this eloquent, succinct, and spot-on statement. I’d like to think that the publishing industry sees libraries as partners, not enemies.