Penguin Random House UK Launches Extended e-book Library Lending Trial
9 Dec 2015
Penguin Random House UK today announced it is making its full catalogue of 23,500 ebooks available for libraries to lend.
From today, December 8th, 2015, libraries will be able to purchase titles from the complete Penguin Random House UK ebook list, meaning users will be able to choose whether to borrow a physical copy or download a digital version.
Ian Hudson, Deputy CEO, Penguin Random House UK, said the move was designed to uphold the important role that libraries play in supporting literacy, while recognising that new technologies had changed some people’s reading habits. He added that the scheme would be for an initial year-long trial, to assess market impact, but was being launched with a view to rolling it out permanently, if successful.
He said: “Penguin Random House exists to connect authors and readers. By enabling libraries to lend ebooks alongside physical copies, we can help protect the pivotal role that libraries have in building literacy and the love of reading in our communities. This new initiative will allow libraries to keep pace with digital change and help them offer the newest releases alongside classics, old favourites and rarer gems in whatever format readers want.
“We firmly believe that libraries need to be able to embrace both physical and digital formats to stay relevant as shared, community-centric places where users can connect with each other and find information, stories and entertainment.
“However we also acknowledge the genuine concerns of booksellers and want to fully understand whether or not library ebook lending might impact physical sales.”
The Penguin Random House elending scheme follows a previous shorter trial headed by the Society of Chief Librarians and The Publishers Association which was instigated in light of The Sieghart review into Library elending.
Ciara Eastell, Society of Chief Librarians’ (SCL) President, said: “On behalf of all Library users and customers, SCL welcomes this initiative from Penguin Random House UK. It builds upon the success and outcomes from the e-lending pilots which were led by SCL and the Publishers’ Association and it will be an important step forward in enabling increased access to eBooks for all library users.”
Registered library users will be able to access ebooks purchased by the library through the libraries’ online platforms and apps.
Just like with physical books, a copy of an ebook can only be read by one customer at a time. When the ebook is checked back in, it will be released to the next customer in line. Each title acquired by a library is useable for two years from the date of purchase or for 36 loans, whichever comes first. All of Penguin Random House UK’s front and backlist titles that are available as ebooks will be eligible for the trial, with new titles available to borrow just 3-months after first publication.
The Penguin Random House ebook lending scheme is open to any library worldwide, including school libraries, which have a distribution agreement with Browns Books for Students, VLeBooks, OverDrive, Gardners, Askews & Holts, Bolinda, WF Howes, RM Books, Wheelers Books and Bibliotecha and where PRH UK holds the requisite rights.
Australia and New Zealand has also made its full catalogue of 4,000 eBooks available for libraries to lend.
From December 9th 2015, libraries will be able to purchase titles from the complete Penguin Random House ANZ ebook list, meaning users will be able to choose whether to borrow a physical copy or download a digital version from favourite authors, such as Tim Winton, Richard Flanagan, Witi Ihimaera, Lloyd Jones, Jeff Kinney, Morris Gleitzman, Kate de Goldi and Jacqueline Wilson. All of Penguin Random House Australia and New Zealand’s front and backlist titles that are available as ebooks will be eligible for the trial, with new titles available to borrow just 3-months after first publication. In Australia and New Zealand this scheme is extended to any library worldwide, including school libraries, which have a distribution agreement with Bolinda, Wheelers, Overdrive and Bibliotheca where PRH ANZ holds the requisite rights.
In the USA, Penguin Random House has been successfully running an ebook library lending programme for the past several years.
For further information:
Maureen Corish: Group Communications Director UK & International