Fight for your Right to Read: Macmillan Publishers Push to Restrict eBook Access for Libraries

September 23, 2019 (Canton, Ohio) – Millions of people prefer to access their books, movies, and music digitally. Last year Stark County readers borrowed more than 374,200 eBooks from Stark Library, making the 24/7 library the busiest branch.

Macmillan Publishers, one of the country’s largest publishing companies, has recently announced some policy changes that may impact e-readers.

Concerned with declining sales attributed to library lending, Macmillan announced new restrictions surrounding eBooks. Beginning November 1, 2019, libraries, regardless of size, will be able to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release.

“EBooks are one of the libraries most popular offerings. This embargo will severely limit our readers and hinder our ability to provide access to information for all. If other publishers follow suit, wait times will increase and make it more difficult to meet our patrons needs,” said Mary Ellen Icaza, Executive Director/CEO.

This policy change will mean longer waits for fewer copies, forcing readers to choose between waiting months for a copy to become available, or purchasing the book on their own.

Due to popular demand, eBooks accounted for 22% of the Library’s collections 2018 budget, tripling in the past three years. Restricting their access to eBooks goes directly against the Library’s mission of providing access to information for all.

American Library Association (ALA) has denounced Macmillan’s embargo and is sharing their opposition.At their last meeting, the Stark Library Board of Trustees showed support for ALA and ereaders by passing a resolution calling upon the publisher to reconsider their stance and work with libraries to find a solution.  Access to e-books should not be restricted.

Readers can voice their opposition by visiting




Inviting. Informing. Transforming.  At Stark Library, we invite everyone into a welcoming place, inform them with resources that will help them grow, and then send them back out to change and transform the world. We think of this ongoing, lifelong process as OUR PURPOSE.

One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

 A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, Stark Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 8,000 programs for 150,000 attendees and provides 195,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2018, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.

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