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Weekly News Digest

March 10, 2020 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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'Is Macmillan Reconsidering Its Library E-Book Embargo?' by Andrew Albanese

Andrew Albanese writes the following for Publishers Weekly (PW):

At the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Macmillan CEO John Sargent told librarians that he would come back in March with potential alternatives to the publisher’s controversial library e-book embargo. And this week, Macmillan made good on Sargent’s statement, with an email to a select group of librarians seeking feedback on three proposals that could inform new e-book license terms for public libraries.

In all three proposals, Macmillan’s eight-week embargo on new release e-books to libraries is abandoned. Gone, too, however is the single, half-price perpetual access copy. And, as Sargent suggested would be the case during his talk at ALA Midwinter, all three proposals include price hikes for new titles in the first weeks of publication, with reduced prices later in a title’s publication cycle.

Librarians PW spoke to agreed that the proposals are at least a step toward resolving the most contentious issue in play here: basic access. If Macmillan replaced the current eight-week embargo on new titles with an eight-week, $20 premium, as one proposal does, the basic access issue undeniably goes away. Librarians would still not be happy about the price hike during a book’s peak demand, which of course would limit access. But at least the discussion would be a price discussion (which is common in the library e-book market) rather than an explicit infringement on basic access, which librarians maintain is fundamentally unacceptable.

For more information, read the article.

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