Amazon withholding some eBooks from OverDrive/Bridges service

Amazon is withholding ebook and audiobook versions of works it publishes through its in-house publishing arms from US libraries.  This may affect the offerings provided to patrons via our statewide Bridges service from OverDrive, though we don't yet know the impact.  

Here is a good article from The Verge outlining the issue.  

From the article:  '“The eBook titles from Amazon Publishing are not available to libraries for lending at any price or any terms. By contrast, consumers may purchase all of these titles directly from Amazon,” argued the nonprofit American Library Association in October 2019 as part of a congressional testimony detailing the dangers of publishers’ tightening grip on library access. “This is a particularly pernicious new form of the digital divide; the Amazon Publishing books are available only to people who can afford to buy them, without the library alternative previously available to generations of Americans.”'

This could mean no e-content access to certain popular authors who are solely published under Amazon's own imprint.  Some of these authors' titles are Kindle eBook-only titles, by Amazon design, and thus would be unavailable in any format for library lending.  For other titles, we will do our best to obtain print copies for circulation. 

Note:  although Amazon points to working with the non-profit DPLA, that company has no option for regular patron access for public libraries.  We work with OverDrive and other vendors because they offer easy app-based access to e-content.  

We are keeping a sharp eye on this situation as it evolves.  

Posted on March 15, 2021