Two New York City Public Library systems (NY and Brooklyn) have made a deal with book publisher Penguin and e-book distributor 3M to bring Penguin’s e-books back to its library shelves for a one year trial period. According to the Wall Street Journal, if this pilot year is successful, Penguin may consider offering similar deals to libraries throughout the U.S., including university and school libraries.
In order to protect the sales of e-books, the library version of all of its 15,000 titles e-books will be available six months after the original release, with each library e-book being available for only a year. Tim McCall, vice president of online sales and marketing at Penguin, told the Journal that the six-month delayed release is meant to protect other e-book sales. Last fall, Penguin has stopped selling e-books to libraries because of security concerns not pricing issues.
Laura Johnson, president of Brooklyn Public Library said that the lack of e-book titles had made it difficult to deliver equal access to all content for people who can’t afford to buy books. She told the Journal that, “Publishers haven’t been doing business with libraries this year, so this is a great moment for us. We’re thrilled that Penguin has come back to the table.”
The New York Public Library hopes that Penguin will decide to make some e-books available right away.