It's been just over a month since Penguin and 3M launched an ebook pilot with the NYPL, and judging by today's news that pilot must be a roaring success. 3M has just sent out an email to their member libraries. They're expanding/ending the pilot and making Penguin ebooks available to all.
But the terms of the deal are so crappy that I for one would not be interested.
According to the email, Penguin will license ebooks to libraries under certain conditions.libraries cannot get the ebooks until 6 months after publication, and the ebooks are handled under a license which expires after one year.
But wait, there's more. Each title will be limited to 26 checkouts, and they are also restricted to a single checkout at a time. And, to cap it all off, the libraries are going to have to pay retail.
In the past I have said that several of the major publishers hate libraries, and I am once again proven correct. Even though publishers release statements like the following, they don't really mean it.
David Shanks, the chief executive of Penguin Group, said in a statement: “We have always been committed to libraries and we are hopeful that this experiment will be successful. Our partnership with 3M and the New York Public Library is a first step toward understanding the best means of supporting the growing digital missions of our great library institutions and their sincere desire to bring writers to new readers.”
Penguin's love of libraries resembles the behavior of a drunk husband who beats his wife. Sure he loves his wife, but the neighbors still call the police at least once a week.
Email to follow:
From: [Heather McCormack at 3M]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 10:00 AM
Subject: Penguin Group (USA) Titles Now Available for Purchase to All 3M Cloud Library Systems
Happy Friday, Cloud Library Customers.
I’m over-the-Empire-State-Building excited to announce that effective today Penguin Group (USA) has agreed to expand its pilot with 3M beyond the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library and license access of its ebooks to all of our library systems. Titles are available for purchase immediately in the Library Admin Tool.
The terms that 3M originally brokered still apply: there is a six-month delay on new titles and term of use is one year from purchase date. Library patrons will be allowed to access ebooks remotely using library-compatible reading devices, under the one-user, one-copy model. 3M is developing ways to make the renewal and repurchasing of titles easy in our new Catalog Acquisition Tool, which will be available in early 2013.
Attached you will find a spreadsheet of Penguin Group (USA) ebooks currently for sale. I will follow up very soon with a list of recent adult, young adult, and children’s best sellers, plus core backlist for those of you who wish to do deeper collection development. Suffice to say your fiction and nonfiction holdings stand to benefit greatly. Zadie Smith, T.D. Jakes, Harlan Coben, Nevada Barr, Stephen King, T.C. Boyle, Patricia Cornwell, and Lauren Willig count among Penguin’s marquee authors.
I cannot stress enough what a boon this is to The Cloud and, more important, your readers. Thank you for your business and suggestions about what we should work to acquire next.
Heather McCormack | Collection Development Manager
3M Cloud Library