Charleston library temporarily boycotts Macmillan Publishing in response to e-book embargo

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The Macmillan boycott has spread across the nation - ALA
  • ALA
  • The Macmillan boycott has spread across the nation
Last week, Charleston County Public Library announced that they are temporarily going to stop purchasing newly released print books, e-books, downloadable audio books, and books on CD from Macmillan Publishers.

CCPL plans to implement the ban for at least 12 weeks. The boycott comes as part of a national movement to protest Macmillan's recent business practices toward libraries.

On Nov. 1, Macmillan implemented a new policy: Libraries are now prohibited from purchasing more than one copy of a newly released e-book fro the first eight weeks after that book's publication in an effort to increase sales.



In a press release, CCPL's executive director Angela Craig said, "CCPL opposes any effort to restrict or delay our ability to provide the public with free and equitable access to information and services. Macmillan’s embargo could lead to patrons waiting months or longer for some e-books."

Craig continued, "Public libraries advance literacy and promote a love of reading to our communities. As we always have, libraries should be working with authors and book publishers to advance those important goals, not against them."

For a limited time during and after the boycott, Charleston readers may not be able to access Macmillan titles, but the boycott will not affect titles already in circulation.

Electronic books are an important, and growing, part of what CCPL offers to the public — the number of e-books circulated among all of Charleston County's public libraries increased by 22 percent between 2018 and 2019.

CCPL is not alone in their boycott of Macmillan. The American Library Association (ALA) has also publicly denounced the embargo and recently launched a national campaign at ebooksforall.org against the practice. The petition, which urges Macmillan to lift their embargo of e-books, currently has almost 211,000 signatures.

In a statement ALA's executive director Mary Ghikas said, "ALA’s goal is to send a clear message to Macmillan’s CEO John Sargent: e-book access should be neither denied nor delayed. Libraries have millions of allies out there, and we’re inviting them to take action."

Learn more about how you can help CCPL online at ccpl.org/boycott

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