Stand up for equal access to eBooks

Your Ability to Access eBooks is in Jeopardy

The Edmonton Public Library is committed to providing access to all kinds of books, ideas, information and resources. Our goal is to connect you with titles you want to read—whether it’s in print, eBook or audiobook format. Recently, Macmillan Publishing, one of the large multinational publishers, announced a business change that has a direct impact on your ability to access popular eBooks, and I want to share information about this change with you. 

Effective Friday, Nov. 1, all public libraries regardless of size, are only able to buy one copy of any new Macmillan eBook release, and have to wait eight weeks before they can buy additional copies. This means much longer wait times for eBooks from authors you love, such as Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, Liane Moriarty and many more.

Through this embargo, not only does Macmillan limit the public’s access to popular eBooks but, even more significantly, creates a barrier for customers who cannot afford to purchase digital content, and for those who rely on their public library for accessing digital information. This particularly impacts people with visual or learning disabilities who may use or rely on eBooks for the ease of changing font size. Macmillan’s new model for eBook lending makes it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission of ensuring access for all.

In response to Macmillan's action, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), Urban Libraries Council (ULC), American Library Association (ALA), public library leaders and other key stakeholders have joined together in opposition to Macmillan’s policy change. Libraries are a critical connector between authors and readers, and we fundamentally believe in open access to books, information and ideas.

We are asking you, all eBook lovers and those who believe in equal access to information, to stand up for libraries’ ability to buy and lend the digital content you expect to find in our libraries. Please sign the petition today and demand that Macmillan provide you access to the new titles you want when you want.  

Thank you for continuing to support EPL. We will continue to stand up for your right to access information in all forms, including newly released eBooks. 

Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer
Edmonton Public Library

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