Library System Responds to eBook Embargo

By Eric Englund | Oct 30, 2019

Toms River — Beginning Nov. 1, Macmillan Publishers will restrict public libraries to the purchase of only one copy of a new eBook title following its release, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo.

“Ocean County Library’s top priorities are our patrons and the products we offer them,” said Christi Aldelizzi, supervising librarian in charge of collections for the library system. “We see our digital services as an integral part of bridging information and entertainment from these authors to our patrons. As a result, our library system will not be adding new titles from the Macmillan publishing house during the eight-week embargo."

She said the embargo will impact eBooks only. Patrons can still reserve their favorite authors in print, eAudio or audiobook. 

Susan Quinn, Ocean County Library director, said, “Macmillan Publishing’s eBook embargo limits the public’s access to information and education by denying public libraries the opportunity to purchase eBooks in sufficient quantities upon publication. This embargo will impact people who depend on the digital format for reading material, but who cannot afford to purchase these titles.”

Quinn noted that many people with visual and other disabilities rely on eBooks for adjustable text size and easier to hold eReaders. She said the library system supports the American Library Association and the New Jersey Library Association’s opposition to this new policy. To learn more, visit eBooksForAll.org. E.E.

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