Yesterday, the Penguin Group (USA), announced it was discontinuing the lending of new e-book titles to library patrons. In addition, library patrons with the Amazon Kindle e-reader will no longer be able to check-out any Penguin titles from libraries.
American Library Association (ALA) President-elect Maureen Sullivan released the following statement regarding the abrupt change in e-book access:
“Penguin Group’s recent action to limit access to new e-book titles to libraries has serious ramifications. The issue for library patrons is loss of access to books, period. Once again, readers are the losers.
“If Penguin has an issue with Amazon, we ask that they deal with Amazon directly and not hold libraries hostage to a conflict of business models.
“This situation is one more log thrown onto the fire of libraries’ abilities to provide access to books – in this case titles they’ve already purchased. Penguin should restore access for library patrons now.”
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.
We find it a bit interesting that the news release makes no mention of OverDrive. Perhaps, some or all of of Penguin’s issues are with the company and not with Amazon? Of course, ALA might be privy to non-public details.