Penguin To Pull eBook Library Lending

Penguin USA is making its new eBooks unavailable for check out from libraries. (Their existing library eBooks will still be available).

The publisher released the following statement today explaining the new development: “Penguin has been a long-time supporter of libraries with both physical and digital editions of our books.  We have always placed a high value on the role that libraries can play in connecting our authors with our readers. However, due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners. Penguin’s aim is to always connect writers and readers, and with that goal in mind, we remain committed to working closely with our business partners and the library community to forge a distribution model that is secure and viable. In the meantime, we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere.”

Penguin’s digital distribution partner OverDrive blogged about the development yesterday. The blog states that Penguin eBooks that are currently available for checkout will remain so. Here is more from the blog: “Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalog and disable ‘Get for Kindle’  functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier.  We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.”

OverDrive has had conflict with publishers in the past. Earlier this year, OverDrive and HarperCollins fought over the publisher’s decision to limit digital checkout copies to 26 per title.  The School Library Journal has more: “Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not license ebooks to public libraries. Hachette Book Group withdrew its frontlist ebook titles from library circulation in July 2010, although it has been reconsidering that decision recently.”