Why can't you borrow that Penguin e-book from the library?
Starting today, if you go to your library to borrow the e-book of "Bringing Up Bebe," Pamela Druckerman's new book about parenting the French way, you'll come up with nothing. That's because its publisher, Penguin, has pulled out of its relationship with OverDrive, the vendor that supplies most libraries with e-books and audio books.
The change was unexpected, but it is not surprising. Penguin joins publishers Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette Book Group in not allowing e-book library lending. As e-books have increased in popularity, major publishers and libraries -- who share the goal of getting books into readers' hands -- have found themselves bumping into a number of complicating factors that seem to put them at odds.
For Penguin, that issue was OverDrive's relationship with Amazon. A 2011 arrangement made library lending possible on the Kindle. Publishers have objected to the library loans being executed through Amazon's servers -- imagine walking into your public library then finding yourself at the Target checkout counter.