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Amazon Publishing in Talks to Offer E-books to Public Libraries

Publishers Weekly – The potential deal would be a breakthrough moment in the library e-book market as Amazon currently does not make its digital content available to libraries. It would also be a major coup for the Digital Public Library of America’s upstart e-book platform and its SimplyE library reading app…Such an agreement would be a major breakthrough in the library e-book market. Amazon currently does not make its digital content available to libraries under any terms—an exclusion that librarians have loudly criticized for years, and brought to the attention of lawmakers in an ALA report last year. In fact, an Amazon spokesperson revealed news of the potential deal with DPLA this week after The Hill contacted the company regarding a petition launched this month to urge Congress to pursue “an antitrust investigation and legislative action to preserve and expand library services.” The petition, created by digital advocacy group Fight for the Future, has garnered nearly 13,000 signatures so far. In a statement provided to PW, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that Amazon Publishing is “in active discussions” with the Digital Public Library of America and that the company expects to begin “testing a number of different models” in early 2021. “We believe libraries serve a critical purpose in communities across the country, and our priority is to make Amazon Publishing e-books available in a way that ensures a viable model for authors, as well as library patrons.”..

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