OPL Announces Limited Boycott of Macmillan eBooks

Until May 2020, eBook borrowers may notice longer hold queues than normal for Macmillan eBooks.

Macmillan Publishing, one of the country’s biggest publishers, launched a library eBook embargo--a limitation on public library eBook acquisition--on November 1, 2019. This embargo applies to eBooks from all Macmillan imprints.

Under the Macmillan embargo, for the first eight (8) weeks after publication, public libraries can only purchase one (1) copy of Macmillan eBooks. After eight (8) weeks have passed, libraries can lease more copies, but cannot keep those copies permanently.

The Oakland Public Library believes that action is necessary to counter increasing costs and limitations on the part of publishers. In response to the Macmillan eBook embargo, we are implementing a limited boycott through May 2020:

  • During the 8-week embargo period, we will purchase one (1) copy of Macmillan eBooks that meet our standards for selection.
  • After the 8-week embargo period, we will not lease additional copies of Macmillan eBooks.
  • This action will end in May 2020. As funds permit, we will add leased copies of eBooks to meet demand at that time.

We will continue to purchase Macmillan products in formats that are not impacted by the embargoes, such as downloadable audiobooks and print books.

This action does not affect previously published Macmillan eBooks already in the digital collection. It also does not affect eBooks from publishers other than Macmillan.

What can I do to voice my concern?
Sign the American Library Association’s (ALA) petition at ebooksforall.org.
In addition, the ALA asks that the public express their concerns by contacting:
Macmillan Publishers
ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office