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Penguin ebooks return to libraries


Penguin eBooks are once again available for library lending to owners of Amazon Kindle devices, at least through libraries using OverDrive’s ebook lending service. Penguin withdrew all its titles from library lending to Kindle owners through OverDrive earlier this week citing “security concerns,” and said it would stop making new titles available to library lending on any platform. Penguin’s reversal returns makes existing ebook titles available for lending to Kindle owners; however, new titles will still not be available for library lending. And the reversal may be temporary: Penguin says it’s merely restoring availability of existing titles through December until a solution can be worked out.

“Penguin titles are available for check out by Kindle users and the Kindle format will be available for patrons who are currently on a waiting list for a Penguin title,” OverDrive’s Brianne Carlon wrote in the company’s blog. “Upcoming releases remain unavailable.”

Penguin will, of course, still continue to publish print versions of new titles, which the company will continue to make available to libraries. Penguin will also offer new titles as ebooks—they just aren’t available for library lending.

Penguin has not elaborated on the nature of its security issues with library ebook lending to Kindle owners, saying only that it is working with Amazon and OverDrive to address the concerns. In a statement, Penguin indicated Amazon claims it had not been “consulted by OverDrive” regarding the nature of Penguin’s agreement with OverDrive.

“Amazon has undertaken to work with Penguin and Overdrive between now and the end of the year to address Penguin’s concerns,” Penguin said in a statement.

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