How to Talk to Your Patrons About Penguin & Other Publishers Not Loaning eBooks to Libraries

[edited 2/11/2012] I feel I need to clarify that Penguin did not stop doing business with libraries, they stopped doing business with OverDrive, read more here.

And how to get them to talk to the Publishers.

I’ve had this post in my drafts for a long time. I originally planned to include it in my November post Penguin Pulls eBooks From Public Libraries Dropping it Down to 1 of the Big 6 Publishers Playing Nice With Libraries, but cut it at the last minute.  Thanks to Sarah’s post about Penguin’s decision to end it’s contract with OverDrive. I’m digging it out and polishing it off. In the comments from 9 Reasons Publishers Should Stop Acting Like Libraries Are The Enemy several people asked for a script for patron conversations regarding publishers that don’t loan their ebooks to libraries. Please remember this script is JUST a suggestion, but it is always in the best interest of libraries to remain professional and courteous.

Possible scripts for your conversation with your patrons when they ask why the library does not have an ebook from a publisher who has chosen not to lend to libraries:

I completely understand your frustration, unfortunately [insert publisher] has chosen not to allow public libraries to loan their ebooks. If you would like I can provide you with contact information for [insert publisher].

I know, I wish we had [insert title] too!  Unfortunately [insert publisher] has chosen not to allow public libraries to loan their ebooks. If you would like I can provide you with contact information for [insert publisher].

Possible scripts for patrons talking to publishers. 

Hi my name is [insert name] I am a patron of [insert library name]. It has recently come to my attention that [insert publishers] had made the decision not to loan ebooks to public libraries. I am writing/calling to express my concerns. I am a library patron but I am also a book buyer. In the last year I purchased [insert number] print books and/or [insert number] of ebooks and/or [insert number] of audiobooks. I am writing/calling to ask you to reconsider working with public libraries.

There are just suggestions, consider them a starting place. If you have others please share!

pdf of script and contact info.

Contact information for publishers

Macmillan Publishing
75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-7521

Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 698-7000

Hachette Book Group
466 Lexington Avenue #131
New York, NY 10017
(212) 364-1100

Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 366-2000

Brilliance Audio
1704 Eaton Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417
(616) 846-5256

HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-207-7000

Read more about publishers, libraries, and ebooks

20 replies »

  1. Thanks for the talking points and for keeping on top of the great ebook debate.

    The way I understand it Penguin’s problem isn’t really with libraries, it’s with Overdrive’s decision to process library ebook lending through Amazon without publisher’s prior approval.


    • Alida
      You are completely correct. My title is misleading. Penguin’s decision was to stop doing business with OverDrive not libraries, unfortunately OverDrive is the dominate ebook business model for public libraries right now.
      There are other publishers are on the list who are not doing business with libraries.


  2. Thank you for including all the links to the other articles regarding ebooks, publishers, and libraries.