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Libraries are Boycotting Macmillan eBooks

While some libraries are telling patrons that Macmillan’s new restrictions are why its ebooks are not available, others are simply opting not to buy any Macmillan ebooks at all.

The AP and other sources report that  several major library systems are boycotting Macmillan ebooks:

Among libraries participating in the boycott are the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Nashville Public Library, the Maryland Digital Library and Washington state’s King County Library System. The protest is in collaboration with partners in the Digital Downloads Collaboration.

Patrick Losinski, CEO of the Columbus library, called it a “stand against limiting equal access to our customers.”

“By limiting the number of copies our library can purchase, Macmillan is allowing only a certain segment of our society to access digital content in a timely manner — those who can pay for it themselves,” he said in a statement. “And that’s unacceptable in a democratic society.”

The embargo isn’t going to accomplish anything, obviously, but what’s interesting about the latest developments is that at least one library head is disputing one of Sargent’s claims, that the libraries had agreed to this change in policy.

Library executive director Lisa G. Rosenblum told Seattle’s KUOW radio station that she had never agreed to anything.  "They claim that they had spoken to library leaders, I being one of them, and had presented the plan months ago and we agreed to it,” Rosenblum said, “and in fact, that never happened. We never agreed to it."

The reason this matters is that if Sargent was lying about libraries agreeing to the change, if he is neglecting to mention the real reason Macmillan’s ebook sales are poor (a lie of omission is still a lie), then what are the chances he was telling the truth about anything else he said in either of his two public statements?

Remember, folks, Macmillan hasn’t released any evidence to back up Sargent’s claims. The supposed proof has not been shared with libraries, the media, authors, or with OverDrive.

Surely it is not unreasonable to conclude said evidence does not exist?

P.S. I have contacted Macmillan twice in the past couple weeks concerning this developing story. They have yet to respond.

image by quinn.anya via Flickr

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Xavier Basora November 4, 2019 um 3:14 am


I.don’t care.

MacMillan is about to learn the harsh but fair lesson that if you alienate your customers by being as obnoxious as possible…well don’t be shocked they stay away. And then contribute to your death spiral.

We should start a Sargent fire watch.
How long before the accountants and shareholders dump him and backpedal at the speed of light?


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