Nesmith Library

Windham, New Hampshire

Help Support Libraries


The mission of the Nesmith Library is to promote, "...literacy, lifelong learning, and the love of reading by providing exceptional services and materials in a variety of formats and technologies." We want to make available to all of our patrons a well-rounded variety of reading materials – whether it’s in print, ebook or audiobook format.

Now your ability to access ebooks is in jeopardy.

 Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will restrict public libraries – regardless of size or population served – to the purchase of only one single copy of a new ebook title following its release, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo. This means much longer wait times for ebooks from authors you love, such as Jonathan Franzen, Louise Penny, Nora Roberts and many more.

 Macmillan’s new policy is based on their fears that libraries are hurting their bottom line and ebook lending is stealing their profits. This couldn’t be further from the truth. [Click here to read a report ALA submitted to Congress upon their request for more information about the digital markets which libraries participate in with publishers.]

 Libraries are a critical connector between authors and readers, and we fundamentally believe in open access to books, information and ideas. Macmillan’s new model for ebook lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission of ensuring access for all.

Further Reading:

  • 10/29/19 Letter from John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Publishers - Read it here
  • 10/30/19 Response from ALA to the letter - Read it here
  • 11/7/19 A great article highlighting the accessibility features of ebooks - Read it here

In addition to the broader issues of the ebook market, Nesmith Library patrons will specifically be affected by the fact that Macmillan's embargo affects libraries and library systems of all sizes. Our library participates in two library systems for purchasing ebooks: the NH Downloadable Books Consortium (OverDrive/Libby), and the GMILCS consortium (CloudLibrary). The materials in these digital collections are shared with all of the libraries participating in those systems. View a flyer we made about this topic here.

[We have additional digital materials available through Hoopla just for Nesmith Library patrons, but these copies will not be affected by the Macmillan embargo.]

The Macmillan embargo means that Nesmith Library patrons will have access to only two copies of newly released ebooks from Macmillan Publishers for the first eight weeks:

One copy shared by patrons of over 200 libraries across New Hampshire (OverDrive, NH Downloadable Books Consortium)

One copy shared by patrons of 12 Greater Manchester area libraries (CloudLibrary, GMILCS)

We anticipate greatly increased wait times on holds for these items when they are in the highest demand, during the first eight weeks following publication. Generally, our ebook selectors have been able to purchase multiple copies to satisfy demand when many holds are placed on a newly released title. This inability to purchase more than one copy for eight weeks will greatly diminish the ability of patrons in these New Hampshire library systems to access these ebooks, which goes against everything libraries are fighting for.

Please support libraries and send a message to Macmillan, other publishers, and Congress by signing this petition at

View more information and join the conversation on Facebook (#ebooksforall), and Twitter (#ebooksforall)