Macmillan Publishers Decides 1 NEW Library eBook Per City...Regardless of Population

A friend sent me a link and asked me to sign the petition. I hadn’t heard anything about it. So I started looking into it. It seems as of November 1st 2019 Macmillan is limiting one book per City in their library for the first 8 weeks for a new release. New York City Population 2019 - 8.74 Million (estimated) Yes, they only get one book. This affects the poor, shut ins and disabled more than any one else…Like usual. I know it’s only 8 weeks but this isn’t good.

If they are allowed to do it…I am sure the other publishers will follow suit. It’s happening in Canada too. And I am sure it will make it’s way over to Europe and other places soon. We have a main library here with 3 other branches that service 3 very small towns. Does that mean we only get one book for all 4 places???

Here’s the research i found as I got madder and madder…

North America:


Another Site you can sign…


That is mondo weird. I know this publisher - what on earth prompted such a decision?


Ebook lending is very efficient and convenient since it can be fully automated, so I guess Macmillan believes that people being able to easily borrow new releases cuts into ebook purchases.

The per-city limitation might just be a way to keep this limit easy (=cheap) to enforce on their end, as they would only need to track library systems (i.e. the ones doing the purchasing) rather than individual libraries and wouldn’t have to implement any population math.

tl;dr greed and laziness


Just another case of publishers enforcing questionable laws for a quick buck. Most likely.
Either way, even as someone who doesn’t live in NA, this may set a worrying precedent, regardless if they know it or not. As a library kid, even if today I couldn’t care much for reading books, like the petition says limiting this to one e book per library is completely absurd.


It’s worse than that, it’s one ebook per city (more likely, one ebook per library system, which is almost but not quite the same; in some places one library system may cover several small towns).


Libraries DO also purchase eBooks. Depending on population of the town or city they serve, they make a purchase to serve that population. According to my local library which has 7 branches, those branches also were purchasing eBooks, but are no longer able to do so with this new rule from Macmillan.

I think that there might be a good case for Discrimination here seeing as most patrons who use the eBook portion of the library are poor, disabled and or unable to go to the physical library due to a combination of medical and physical reasons. I plan to look into this and I would just about bet that the legal team at Macmillan knew this but decided to throw it out to see who would challenge them and how difficult a time we would give them about it.