As of November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers only allows libraries—no matter the size of their city or town—to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. This change in policy greatly reduces accessibility of library materials to you, our customers.
San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) and Ramiro S. Salazar, our Library Director, who is also the Public Library Association President have joined American Library Association (ALA) and Urban Libraries Council (ULC) as well as libraries across the nation in a fight to reverse the decision of Macmillan Publishers. Unfortunately, even with strong opposition, support from city and county leaders across the nation and more than 186,000 petition signatures, Macmillan has implemented its new policy.
As a result of this change in policy, SAPL has joined other major library systems in a business decision to suspend the purchase of Macmillan Publishers titles until the restrictive policy is either reversed or Macmillan comes to the table to discuss options that will continue equitable access to eBooks for our customers. As demand for digital content grows, we cannot idly accept Macmillan’s new eBook policy. Offering only one new eBook in San Antonio, for a library serving almost 2 million people at 30 locations, will deny timely access, extend your wait times and discourage readership.
Macmillan titles represent approximately 7 percent of the San Antonio Public Library’s eBook collection. While this is a fraction of SAPL’s digital eBook collection, we continue to be concerned about additional publishing companies following suit with similar policies which will become an even greater issue for eBooks in the SAPL collection. We will continue to purchase print copies of Macmillan titles as this policy does not affect that format.
Macmillan’s refusal to reverse its decision despite a strong opposition, demonstrates to us that we must continue the fight to protect the rights of our customers!
The San Antonio Public Library Team