Publisher puts new limits on public libraries' e-books

The public library has long attracted avid readers with an unrivaled pitch: Check out a best-selling book for free and renew it multiple times. But as more people ditch printed books in favor of e-books that can be downloaded directly to a computer, the rules are changing.

As of last week, HarperCollins, publisher of authors such as Anne Rice, Sarah Palin and Michael Crichton, does not allow its e-books to be checked out from a library more than 26 times. After that, the license on the e-book will expire, and libraries will have to decide whether to buy a new one. For library users, that could mean longer waits for popular titles, tighter limits on how many times an e-book can be renewed and the possibility that e-books that are not repurchased would be available at the library for only about a year.


Publisher puts new limits on public libraries' e-books