A Small Change for Consortia in Macmillan Licensing

Yesterday OverDrive announced through account managers that Macmillan would “allow Advantage libraries to purchase additional copies (still one per Adv library) in the OC/OU format during the first 8 weeks. This will be in addition to the single copy the consortium can purchase.”

Michael Bills from Baker & Taylor confirmed via ALA ASGCLA that “B&T brought this up in meetings at Macmillan’s offices in mid-August. After asking for this permission, and explaining how non-shared local collections work within consortia, Macmillan leadership agreed to allow Axis 360 Unbound libraries—and by extension, OD Advantage libraries—to order a perpetual copy for their patrons, in addition to the consortium copy. Glad to hear that OD asked, and received the same permissions.”

This slight change is helpful in many ways for consortial libraries, or even independent ones. It gives them more control over their collections. Members of a consortia can get titles individually even if no consortia copy is leased. It offers potential cost savings over time: because the license in the first 8 weeks is one copy/one user perpetual, one copy of titles, at least, will not have to be constantly renewed. The option can conceivably help with preservation of access over time. And a few more titles can be offered to patrons in the first 8 weeks: libraries with multiple platforms (for example, DPLA Exchange, Axis 360 or Cloud Library, plus their consortium vendor) could perhaps offer 3 copies before having to plunge for however many copies via metered access.

So, grudgingly, RF offers thanks to Macmillan for agreeing and more graciously to the library vendors for asking.

If Macmillan were offering to each library one and only one perpetual access license in addition to a shared consortial copy, even at full price or even a bit higher, plus unlimited metered access licenses, all on the day a title was released, we’d all be thanking them, especially if the metered licenses were based only on circulation and not time. That 8 week embargo is still a BIG sticking point, though, isn’t it?