UPDATE: On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, Macmillan announced they were returning to the library eBook pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. They have ended the embargo. The library wants to thank our customers for supporting our decision. We will resume including Macmillan titles in our digital purchasing decisions.
Fairfax County Public Library has joined libraries across the U.S. and Canada in refusing to purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks (eMaterials) from Macmillan Publishers and its imprints.
On November 1, 2019, Macmillan began limiting libraries to the purchase of a single, electronic copy of a title for the first sixty days after publication, regardless of the number of people the library system serves or the number of branches. After this 60-day embargo libraries can purchase additional copies at inflated prices reserved for libraries. These copies expire after two years, at which point libraries must either re-purchase them at full price or lose access to those copies. By allowing only one copy to be purchased in the first two months, Macmillan sends a clear signal that it does not value the purchasing power of libraries and does not recognize the valuable support that libraries provide to publishers and authors by exposing readers to new authors and interests.
Fairfax County Public Library will continue to purchase Macmillan titles in print and CD audiobook format, as sales and lending practices in those formats are protected by federal law. FCPL will continue to maximize its eMaterial budget; funds previously allocated to Macmillan eMaterials will be redirected to publishers who are willing to work collaboratively with public libraries.
Fairfax County Public Library is not alone in its decision. Below is a selected list of libraries that are choosing not to buy Macmillan's eMaterials. As of March, there are libraries in 28 states, serving over 15% of the US population, that are standing up to the embargo.
*exception for eAudio or end of embargo period
For a more complete list, see also the work from Whatcom County Library System.
This page will be updated with more information in the coming weeks.