Stand Up for Equal Access to eBooks

29 October 2019

Your Ability to Access eBooks is in Jeopardy

Richmond Hill Public Library is your library; your knowledge centre. We are committed to integrating resources and expertise for you to build your life and your community. Our goal is to strengthen your connections with titles you want to read—whether it’s in print, eBook or eAudiobook format.

Recently, Macmillan Publishing -- one of the large multinational publishers -- announced a business change that will have a direct impact on your ability to access popular eBooks, and we want to share information about this change with you.

Effective Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 all public libraries -- regardless of size -- will only be able to buy one copy of any new Macmillan eBook release, and will have to wait eight weeks before they can buy additional copies. This means much longer wait times for eBooks from authors you love, such as Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, Liane Moriarty and many more.


Through this embargo, not only will Macmillan limit the public’s access to popular eBooks, but, even more significantly, the publisher will create a barrier for customers who cannot afford to purchase digital content, and for those who rely on their public library for accessing digital information. This particularly impacts people with visual or learning disabilities who may use or rely on eBooks for the ease of changing font size. Macmillan’s new model for eBook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission of ensuring access for all.

In response to Macmillan's action, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), Urban Libraries Council (ULC), American Library Association (ALA), public library leaders and other key stakeholders have joined together in opposition to Macmillan’s policy change. Libraries are a critical connector between authors and readers, and we fundamentally believe in open access to books, information and ideas.

We are asking you, all eBook lovers and those who believe in equal access to information, to stand up for libraries’ ability to buy and lend the digital content you expect to find in our libraries. Please sign the petition today and demand that Macmillan provide you access to the new titles you want when you want.

Click here to tweet your support:
Or email:

[Richmond Hill Public Library would like to thank Pilar Martinez, CEO of Edmonton Public Library, for sharing her original blog post about this important issue impacting libraries, eBook lovers, and those who believe in equal access to information.]