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Penguin Walks Away From eBook Library Loans
As of today, Feb. 10, 2012, Penguin no longer offers additional copies of eBooks and eAudiobooks for library purchase. Penguin is terminating its contract with Overdrive, the company that provides materials for our Digital Library. This situation is beyond our control.
According to the online news source Publishers Weekly, Penguin is negotiating an agreement to allow libraries that have already purchased Penguin eBooks to continue to loan them. Additionally, Penguin eBooks loaned for reading on Kindle devices will need to be downloaded to a computer then transferred to the device via a USB cable. For library patrons, this means Penguin eBooks will no longer be available for over-the-air delivery to Kindle devices or to Kindle apps.
Penguin has previously cited concerns about the security of digital editions, fearing that downloaded library eBooks could be kept by the borrower. In November, 2011, Penguin stopped offering frontlist eBooks to Overdrive, limiting availability to backlisted books.
Penguin is not the only book publisher to be concerned about eBook security. Some publishers, including Simon & Schuster, do not sell eBooks to libraries, and others put restrictions on access to digital editions. These are still the early days of digital books, but the format’s use is growing quickly and content providers are anxious to ensure that their business remains profitable.