updated 06:38 am EST, Mon November 19, 2012
New agreements come nine months after leaving OverDrive
Penguin books is to start lending e-books again in the near future, if reports are to be confirmed. Working with distributor Baker and Taylor, the digital books will be available to borrow from Los Angeles and Cleveland-based libraries, though rule changes surrounding the new lending system compared to previous iterations will force libraries to buy a new copy of the book every year.
The new borrowing system mirrors that of a pilot by 3M in New York, which has been running in the state since September, according to the New York Times. On top of the new e-book lending system, Penguin will also work with OneClickdigital to offer digital audiobook lending to libraries.
Earlier this year, Penguin ended its deal with lending system OverDrive, since the publisher wanted users to be forwarded to Amazon for book distribution, something Overdrive cannot accomplish due to its existing agreements with other publishers. Though pulling out from the service, libraries were still able to offer Penguin e-books and audiobooks to its patrons, by transferring files to Kindles via a USB connection.
A deal announced in October also sees Penguin and Random House merging to become the world's biggest English-language book publisher, with the main impetus likely to be the increasing sales of e-books. It is not clear if the merger will affect the Penguin situation with libraries, as in contrast to Penguin's need to control the delivery system, Random House is more digital-friendly, offering options for unlimited book loans from libraries.