Breaking News--A Long Awaited Business Model from a Big Publisher

Thanks to RF Friend Andrew Albanese for sharing some great news,

"In a major announcement ahead of this week’s 2017 ALA Annual Conference, HarperCollins has agreed to make a selection of its e-book backlist titles available to public library users on a multi-user lending model."

Yes, you read it right. Something ReadersFirst and the library community as a whole have wanted for a long time is finally happening.

"Starting in July, the publisher will make about 15,000 e-book titles available via hoopla, including works from bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman, Louise Erdrich, and Dennis Lehane. The agreement builds on a 2016 deal that made HarperCollins’ digital audiobook backlist available to library users . . . . It is an enormous step forward for library e-book lending, as HarperCollins becomes the first Big Five publisher to offer e-books to library patrons on a multi-user, on-demand model."

This is indeed welcome news! For too long, library e-book use has been stalled by a lack of flexible business models of precisely this sort. It's a win-win, offering publishers a chance for greater circulation on back list titles and libraries a chance for multi-user access. There will be less waiting for titles. Will other publishers follow? Could high demand front list titles follow? What will it ok like in library catalogs? Great questions. We can hope for continued progress. In the meantime, THANK YOU Harper-Collins! You have once again proven yourself to be willing to experiment to work with libraries for our mutual benefit.  May others follow your example.