Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks.   In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalog and disable “Get for Kindle”  functionality for all Penguin eBooks.   We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier.  We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.

All existing Penguin eBook titles in your library’s catalog are still available and additional copies can be added.

Brianne Carlon is a public relations specialist at OverDrive.

19 Responses to “Penguin library eBook update”

  1. Krista

    I could see this coming. With all the activity with the new lending program through Amazon, it’s about time contracts were re-evaluated. Hard for publishers to make money on the newly released books as it is. I have my fingers crossed that libraries will be able to have access again soon

  2. jim mccluskey

    I’m surprised that this information wasn’t communicated to libraries by email as well as through the blog. I’m disappointed that I’ve only learned about this via a staff member at my library, rather than through a direct communication with my OverDrive contact person.

  3. Maria (BearMountainBooks)

    Please keep us updated. This is very interesting news for us readers and we’d like to know more about what is going on and why!

    Thank you for the quick note today.

    Maria Schneider

  4. Becky

    This is quite a bummer. I was looking forward to several Penguin titles that are coming out in the near future. I won’t be buying them for my kindle, that is for certain. Worst case scenario I will get them as paper versions from the library or eventually a used book store. I refuse to encourage this behavior in a publishing company and will not fork over my hard earned cash to them. They need to realize that ebooks are the wave of the future and need to evolve their business model accordingly. Angering devote readers such as myself and many others is going to get them nowhere in the end.


  5. Eileen Chandler

    Patrons with Penguin Kindle ebooks on their wish list or, worse still, patrons who have holds on Penguin Kindle ebooks will be very annoyed and perplexed. Especially after the big publicity effort re most ebooks now Kindle compatible. What a let down! What are OverDrive’s plans to alert patrons about this unwelcome change? Surely there is some plan in the works for a prominent alert on libraries’ public OverDrive websites? As a customer I am very disappointed that I had to hear this through the grapevine instead of getting an email alert directly from OverDrive.

  6. Carol Travis

    I agree that the librarians who order from Overdrive, or deal with patrons, seem to be the last to know what is happening. This news should have been communicated to us as soon as Overdrive was aware of the change.

  7. Deb Lambert Czarnik

    The Penguin contact for more information, and to register complaints about this new policy is:

    Erica Glass
    Media Relations Manager
    Penguin Group (USA)

    Let your voices be heard. I’ve let them know that restricting lending to certain devices is a form of censorship that is impossible to explain to my tax-paying members!

  8. Alison

    What I found very frustrating was the vanishing of the Kindle editions of books already purchased by the library, without any announcement at all last week. If Penguin is so concerned about security, surely all the ebook editions should disappear, not just the Kindle format.

  9. Craig

    While I am disappointed that a number of items on my wait list are no longer available to my Kindle, I am not surprised. I expect publishers to start to restrict library access to at least their new releases as it gets harder for them to make money. It is just too easy for a consumer like me to download a new book to my Kindle through Overdrive than to go and buy the book to my Kindle from Amazon. In the last month, I know I saved at least $30 using Overdrive on books I would have bought.

  10. Jasmine

    I am so disappointed in Penguin in this. I only found out about this because I had a book become available for download. When I contacted the library about it, they didn’t even know what was going on. They had to contact OverDrive to find out what the issue was. Why was this not disclosed to the Libraries? Also there should have been something placed on the OverDrive home page informing us readers of Penguin’s decision to suspend access to their books.

  11. Sergio

    What’s more interesting (and scary), that a detailed coverage was posted at Yahoo News in Technology section yesterday, and today the article title is changed to “Correction: Books-Libraries story” and text states the following:

    “In a Nov. 21 story about digital book security, The Associated Press erroneously reported on the publishers involved in’s Prime lending program, which allows members to rent one book a month from a selection of titles. … …”
    read here:

    Changing a news article in such way smells 1984 to me. What’s next? Shooting those who still keep “wrong” original copies???

  12. Agnes

    What about the people that got emails saying the Kindle edition was available for check out, but unable to check out the Kindle editions.
    Will we get a new chance to check them out when they again become available?

  13. Jo-Ann Benedetti

    Agree that finding out at 3:30 PM via OverDrive’s blog was quite disappointing. Library partners should have been told this was coming. The email I received yesterday from Overdrive (after asking where the Kindle book was on behalf of a patron) was “The titles in our catalogue that are available to libraries can change frequently as communicated to OverDrive by publishers, which can cause some titles to no longer be available.” Really? Try explaining that to a patron.

  14. John

    Once again, Overdrive bungled communication about a major change in its service. You need a communication strategy for your customers that is not built around the expectation that people will follow your blog hoping for scraps of new information. Our patrons are unhappy. They want to know, rightly so, why they are funding the leasing of frequently unusable content via a frequently unusable product. Every library should be asking themselves the same question.

  15. Jonathan

    Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who heard about this in a roundabout way — and I’m my library system’s OverDrive contact! Come on, how hard would it have been for Potash to send out an email to us ahead of time?

  16. sally anderson

    What about audio e-books? Also, what is the cut off date defining new, as opposed to old, books?

  17. Garry

    Has anyone else been locked out of listennj? Is the site down, or is it my account?

  18. Lonnie

    I do not buy books anymore just like I don’t go to the movies anymore. Everything I read now comes from the library. I refuse to pay 8-10 dollars for a paper/hardback/eBook that I can read in 2 hours. Like the movie industry they are pricing themselves out of business and it would seem they will try and exert the same level of control the movie industry has with their products. I could say a lot more but whats the point.

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