Major book publishers and libraries have been sparring for months over acceptable terms for making e-books available for lending. From time to time, they find some common ground.
The Penguin Group plans to announce on Monday that it is expanding its e-book lending program to libraries in Los Angeles and Cleveland and surrounding areas though a new distribution partner. In a pilot program that will begin this year, Penguin has worked with Baker & Taylor, a distributor of print and digital books, to start e-book lending programs in the Los Angeles County library system, which will reach four million people, and the Cuyahoga County system in Ohio.
The terms of lending will be the same as those they have been testing through 3M systems in New York public libraries since September: Penguin will sell any book to the libraries for lending six months after its release date, each book may be lent to only one patron at a time and at the end of a year the library must buy each book again or lose access to it.
Tim McCall, Penguin's vice president for online sales and marketing, said the company was happy with the 3M pilot, which will continue and expand. "We are learning every month, but I think we have a model that works."
Through a third partner, OneClickdigital, Penguin will also begin lending digital audiobooks to any library that is interested.
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SOURCE: The New York Times