Minuteman Response to HarperCollins Ebook Checkout Limits


Due to HarperCollins recent announcement to limit the number of times (26) that eBook titles can be circulated, the Minuteman Library Network has made the decision not to purchase any new HarperCollins eBook titles for the Digital Catalog (OverDrive) as of March 16th. Minuteman libraries are not willing to accept policies that prohibit reasonable use of eBooks or any other material.

Minuteman sent a letter to the company outlining the Network's position. See below.

March 22, 2011

Mr. Brian Murray
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022

Dear Mr. Murray:

I am writing to inform you that the 43 member Minuteman Library Network (MLN) in Massachusetts has voted to stop licensing HarperCollins eBook titles from our vendor OverDrive. We took this action as a result of your decision to arbitrarily limit the number of times (26) that HarperCollins' eBook titles can be used by our library customers.

We urge you to reconsider this policy. Libraries are very interested in providing our users with eBook titles. We understand that the publishing industry is working to develop pricing and distribution models for this new market; however, your decision increases the confusion and frustration users face when exciting new formats and devices are undermined by incompatibility and restrictive policies. Your policy makes it harder for people to use eBooks and alienates the library community, which is willing to discuss these and all other eBook issues in a frank and open manner.

MLN's decision is based on our professional code of ethics where advocacy for open access to all materials for users is central to our mission. As your customers, libraries are not willing accept policies that prohibit reasonable use of eBooks or any other material.

Nancy Milnor
President, Minuteman Library Network