Saturday, March 5, 2011

News Stories on HarperCollins eBook Decision Go Mainstream

Publisher puts new limits on library e-books. Librarians say HarperCollins' decision to allow just 26 downloads will add financial burden. (Chicago Tribune, 3/6/2011)

Excerpt:    For library users, that could mean longer waits for popular titles, tighter limits on how many times an e-book can be renewed and the possibility that e-books that are not repurchased would be available at the library for only about a year.

Librarians across the country are outraged and fear other publishers could adopt a similar model. Some have organized a boycott of books published by HarperCollins. They argue the restrictions place an additional burden on financially strapped public libraries, some of which have reduced their inventories because of budget constraints.

The added expenditures on e-books, they said, will make it more difficult to compete in an industry that is quickly becoming dominated by electronic readers such as the iPad, the Nook and the Kindle.

"This strikes at the heart of what we do," said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, who described electronic media as the new virtual library. "With limited financial resources affecting all libraries across America, people are asking, 'Why would you do this?'

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