Andrew AlbaneseA January thaw is upon us – Not in the Northeastern US, where temperatures have been in the single digits for days, but certainly in Libraryland, where a major trade publisher has announced an innovative e-book lending program for libraries. Coming just ahead of the Midwinter meeting for the American Library Association in Seattle this weekend, the news may be as welcome there as a warm coat on a freezing cold day.

Macmillan has finally announced that it is set to begin its first e-book library lending program by the end of the first quarter,” Andrew Albanese, senior writer at Publishers Weekly, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

“This is a pilot project, and under the plan, Macmillan will offer libraries some 1,200 backlist e-books from its Minotaur Books imprint,” Albanese explains. “But here’s what’s interesting—the program will launch with Baker & Taylor, OverDrive and 3M all selling titles to library systems—and what’s interesting about that, is the choice. If you’re Overdrive, which pioneered e-lending for libraries and still dominates the market, that sound you hear is the footsteps of other vendors coming for you’re a piece of your marketshare.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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