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Volume 19-41 | 10.8.19
eBooks For All
After several years of relative stability, the publisher eBook licensing terms for library lending are again shifting in disruptive directions. Libraries have a longstanding commitment to ensuring all people have access to the world's knowledge through our nation's libraries, regardless of format. But many new models for library digital lending, including Macmillan's new embargo model beginning November 1, 2019 ( ), will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our central mission-ensuring access to information for all.  Nina Acosta, Assistant ILP Operations Supervisor for MHLS has confirmed with eBook platform OverDrive that under the new Macmillan model, libraries with Advantage accounts will each be able to purchase one single use copy of new Macmillan titles for the eight (8) week embargo period. These copies will be restricted to patrons of the owning libraries and will not be eligible for Advantage Plus sharing with the rest of the consortium. This is a change from the policy as initially announced, which would have restricted each consortium to one single-use copy. Macmillan conceded to this revision at the request of eBook vendors. While this shift gives libraries greater flexibility in providing access to eBooks for their community, the restrictions will increase wait times for library patrons to access eBooks.

The "first sale" doctrine, which gives the owners of a copyrighted work, like a physical book, the rights to sell, lend, or share their copies without having to obtain permission or pay fees, is the basis on which public libraries have built their sharing service model. But eBooks are not owned by libraries, they're licensed from publishers, so first sale doctrine does not apply, and the terms of the license are dictated by the publisher, which decides what libraries or other eBook purchasers can and can't do with the eBooks they've licensed.

The American Library Association (ALA) is taking the lead on advocating for equitable paths forward to ensure that libraries can continue to purchase and lend at pricing models that are reasonable and flexible. ALA believes:
  • All published works must be available for libraries to purchase and lend to library users.
  • Access to and use of eBooks must equitably balance the rights and privileges of readers, authors, and publishers.
  • Digital content must be accessible to all people, regardless of physical or reading disabilities.
  • Library patrons must be able to access digital content on the device of their choosing.
  • Reading records must remain private in the digital age.
Library advocates are urged to speak up and tell Macmillan Publishers' CEO John Sargent that the publishing company's new policy of embargoing library access to purchasing new eBook titles is unfair to our constituents. Visit the link below to take action:
~Casey Conlin, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator
MHLS Announcements
Universal Class access will begin on October 15th ! The Central Library/Collection Development Advisory Committee met on August 22nd and approved a 3-year purchase of Universal Class. Universal Class brings libraries lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs). More than 500 courses are available, and all are designed and led by professional instructors to build deeper understanding and mastery of subject matter. Universal Class includes videos, assignments, quizzes, tests, and options for social media interaction with other learners. Patrons may take multiple classes and learn at their own pace.
A 30-minute web-based training session has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th at 1:00 pm. Registration is not required. To access the session or view the archive after the event please visit
For more information about Universal Class including marketing materials and talking points to use with patrons visit
Matthew Reinhardt, MHLS Tech Support Specialist has left MHLS to work full time at the Westchester Library System. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors! If you or someone you know might be interested in joining a dynamic team in supporting the technology behind great library service, MHLS is now seeking a part-time Tech Support Specialist . Please visit to view the full job description and learn how to apply. Application Deadline: October 15th.
MHLS Libraries
At the September DA meeting, libraries reported their findings from the latest MHLS Lab Project targeted at increasing attendance at adult programs. The 2019 cohort focused on three key strategies including creating a programming mission statement, creating talking points for frontline staff, and reaching out to non-user groups. In the course of our research we also talked with Janie Hermann, Adult Programing Manager at the Princeton Public Library, who shared a number of her strategies for providing the best programing to her community, including publishing a weekly e-newsletter and closely tracking program statistics like day and time of day of a program, partnerships, and more for making data-based decisions on future programming.

Thank you to our Lab Project partners for being part of this program: Fran Harrison - Grinnell Public Library District, AnnaLee Dragon - Kinderhook Memorial Library, Michele Capozzella - Mahopac Public Library, Maureen Garcia - Mountain Top Library, Chrissy Lawlor - Olive Free Library Association, Dawn Jardine - Red Hook Public Library , Brooke Dittmar and Brian James - Town of Esopus Library. You can learn more about the program by visiting
Professional Development
The meeting of the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council Information Technology Special Interest Group will take place on Wednesday, October 30th from 1:00-4:00pm at their headquarters in Highland, NY. This event will focus on programming work-hacks that we all can use to improve our workflows. Special guest presenters Nina Acosta, Mid-Hudson Library System and Amy Schuler, Carey Institute of Ecosystem Studies will talk about the work they've done with Macros, API's, and Data Analysis programs like R. Following the presentations, attendees will have a chance to do hands-on work in the classroom environment to find tangible ways to include computer programs to increase efficiency and make time for more fulfilling work.
Staff at all library types are welcome, from those who just want to hear more about what's going on in the field, to absolute newbies, to tech-curious, to those with a toe dipped in the water, and those who are actively working on successful and/or challenging projects.
Registration is free for all members and affiliate members. Register at
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