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My library, the San Rafael Public Library, has gotten a fair amount of play in local media regarding our decision to not purchase HarperCollins eBooks due to their recent change in policy that makes eBooks artificially expire after 26 circulations.

  • On April 6th we issued a press release (pdf) about our position.
  • On April 15th the Marin Independent Journal covered the “we’re not buying stuff from HarperCollins ” decision at both our library and the local County library system with the story “Marin libraries join battle over e-books.”
  • On April 26th the editorial cartoonist for the Marin Independent Journal created a cartoon about the issue (see below), depicting a library user at our library asking about eBooks.

I got grumpy about the HarperCollins decision, and was proud that my library and the others in our county stood up against an anti-user, anti-library change in licensing.  Excellent job standing up for the user, Marin librarians!

You can follow the latest on the fight against HarperCollins’s self-defeating and asinine policy through the Twitter hashtag #hcod.

“Local media coverage of my library’s stand on HarperCollins-gate”

  1. Notable – 5.11.11 | The Digital Immigrant Says:

    [...] in Black continues to follow HaperCollinsp-gate.  Check out her post for links, hashtags (#hcod), and more! My library, the San Rafael Public Library, has gotten a [...]

  2. Brian DiNitto Says:

    Yes, the San Rafael Public Library is making a stand against publishers and this policy, but they are also denying their users resources, or maybe to be more specific, resources in specific digital formats. Maybe a good next step, once they have HarperCollins attention, is to work on a use-directed model to substantially lower prices for the unique uses of these e-books in libraries. The model of buying digital library materials like we used to think of buying a car may need to be updated. Car leasing and the model of a ZipCar may fit into our budgets better and allow more access for our patrons, our ultimate goal.

  3. Sarah Says:

    The Library is not denying users resources in any way. We have a limited amount of money to spend on materials. Within our budget for eBooks, as with all things, we have to make a decision about how to best invest that money on our community’s behalf. Buying a digital title that disappears after 26 uses is not a good investment in our opinion. Similarly, we would rather buy 10 great books that users requested rather than 1 obscure and expensive art book for the same amount of money. Libraries are considering different eBook models (subscribing, owning, tiers, etc.), including looking at user-driven purchasing (where you get to decide directly some of what we buy.

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