March 3rd, 2011

read, beach, books

What Does HarperCollins Really Want?

Until now, libraries who purchased e-books from publisher HarperCollins have been able to check those books out to patrons an unlimited number of times.  Not any more.  Beginning March 7, those books will only be able to be checked out 26 times before the library's license expires.  Librarians everywhere are fuming, boycotting HarperCollins.

The Virtual Library of the Pioneer Library System decided to take a look at the print editions of HarperCollins titles, in which they ask the question, What does wear and tear look like on a print book? Is 26 checkouts a realistic standard to apply to ebooks?

It does seem pretty ridiculous.   Here's a link to their Open Letter to HarperCollins.

I'm wondering if this might halt the growth of e-books available in libraries?  Because I love a real, paper book, part of me wants to think this is a good thing.  I know, not really - if e-books are what patrons want, then libraries need to offer them.  They just won't be offering e-books from HarperCollins unless the publisher is ready to change their ridiculous new policy.

Chances are this is what HarperCollins really wants anyway.  If their titles aren't available from libraries, e-book readers will have to purchase their own copies - and most likely won't read them anywhere near 26 times.