Hachette to offer new ebooks at libraries through pilot program

Something very exciting happened last week in the world of libraries.  American Libraries Association (ALA) President Molly Raphael met with Hachette Book Group and blogged that Hachette has decided to try lending their new ebooks at public libraries again.

Hachette will be offering their new ebooks through two ebook distributors for libraries in a pilot progam this spring.  The program will include many of Hachette’s recent best sellers and will reach around 7 million library patrons.  Hachette plans on getting valuable usage data from the pilot program to help them come up with a long-term strategy for their ebooks at libraries.

Hachette stopped selling their new ebooks to libraries over two years ago in April 2010.  They still offer ebooks published before April 2010 to libraries through OverDrive.

It’s unclear if Hachette will be using OverDrive as one of the two ebook distributors or if they will be going with less established players.  It will be interesting to see if they go with the 3M Cloud Library which has been popular as an alternative to OverDrive.

This is a huge victory for the ALA and for Molly Raphael too.  For the past year or so the ALA established a trend that consisted of them meeting with a book publisher and then that book publisher ends up pulling their ebooks from libraries.  It’s great to see  a meeting between the ALA and a publisher that results in more ebooks being available to libraries.