In the past a reader had to drive or to walk down to the library and with all the traffic hassles, parking fees and stress sometimes came home empty-handed as the very book he wanted was not available or on a waiting list.
The new e-book library checkout program allows you to order ebooks from your home or from the beach in Mexico with your new Kindle Fire or iPad. Hit the order button and start reading the book. And if you forget to return it, the book automatically gets checked back two weeks later. No lost books. No late fees. Great for library patrons. And your dog will not chew on them when you leave him in the car with nothing to do for him.
Publishers have always been uneasy about licensing e-books to libraries.
This spring HarperCollins decided to implemented a new policy where instead of just selling the library an e-book like they do to bookstores, they will only sell libraries a license to download the book 26 times. After that, the library would have to buy another copy. HarperCollins demands also that the libraries could only provide this service to library customers located in the communities they serve. Librarians certainly are not amused.
Last month Penguin Books announced that they were suspending their distribution of new digital books in Kindle format to libraries due to “security considerations”. Penguin and other major publishers will continue to license e-books in Adobe EPUB format, the format favored by all e-reader vendors except Amazon, for users of Apple iPad, Sony Reader or Nook.
Penguin USA Group has now returned its (older) e-book titles to lending library shelves after just a three day absence. The publisher pulled every one of its titles and also announced it was delaying the release of any of its new books to the Overdrive and Amazon lending services which power America’s libraries. The publisher also has not restarted, nor said when it will restart adding their new titles to the services. The publisher set off a storm on November 22nd when it pulled its e-books, particularly with librarians across America.
In 1979 the British parliament passed the Public Lending Rights Act, demanding that authors receive a royalty of 12 cents for every time their book is checked out of a public library. Other countries were writers receive some form of compensation for library check outs are:
… all civilized societies who honor intellectual labor!
Countries that do NOT pay royalties for library check outs:
United States of America…