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Penguin brings ebooks back to libraries with distributor 3M

Laura Hazard Owen

Big-six publisher Penguin is working with digital library distributor 3M Cloud Library to make ebooks available to libraries again — first through a pilot program with the New York City (NYPL) and Brooklyn Public Libraries (BPL), as previously announced, and then to 3M library clients nationwide by the end of the year.

Penguin removed all of its ebooks from libraries in February.

The latest Penguin library offerings come with a number of limitations. First of all, the very newest Penguin titles aren’t available: For the NYPL and BPL pilot program, Penguin is delaying the availability of new ebooks until six months after their publication, in an attempt to avoid cutting into paid digital and print sales.

3M Cloud Library also does not work with nearly as many client libraries as competitor OverDrive, although the company is expanding. 3M Cloud Library has over 70 client libraries in the U.S., while OverDrive works with 17,000 libraries (public, school, college and corporate) — so it is less likely that a library near you offers ebooks through 3M. Finally, 3M still does not support Kindle. It works with PCs, iOS, Nook and Android.