Join the Campaign: #eBooksForAll

Your ability to access e-books is in jeopardy

Have you been waiting longer than usual for your e-books or e-audiobooks on Overdrive? While physical books remain popular, demand for digital material at Halifax Public Libraries has been increasing rapidly. 

Did you know?

  • Publishers charge libraries extremely high prices for copies of e-books and e-audiobooks (For more information and to see specific examples, visit
  • Many e-books expire and have to be repurchased after a set period of time (usually two years) or a specific number of checkouts.

Macmillan introducing embargo

Starting November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers, one of the five largest print publishers in the world, will impose a limit of one digital copy of new releases for public libraries. Libraries will be forced to wait eight weeks before they can purchase additional copies. This means much longer wait times for e-books from authors such as Louise Penny, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, Liane Moriarty, and many more. 

Currently, Macmillan is the only publisher that is imposing this embargo on their e-book titles and the embargo only applies to e-books, not e-audiobooks.

Join the fight for equitable access

Through this embargo, not only will Macmillan limit the public’s access to popular e-books but, will even more significantly, create a barrier for customers who cannot afford to purchase digital content, and for those who rely on their public library to access digital information. This particularly impacts people with visual or learning disabilities who may use or rely on e-books for the ease of changing print and font size. MacMillan’s new model for e-book lending will make it difficult for libraries to fulfill our core mission of ensuring access for all.

Halifax Public Libraries, alongside public libraries across North America, strongly opposes Macmillan’s new policy. In response, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, Urban Libraries Council, American Library Association, public library leaders and other key stakeholders have joined together in opposition to this policy that will only make a bad situation worse.

What can you do to help?

We are asking you, all e-book lovers, and those who believe in equal access to information to stand up for libraries’ ability to buy and lend the digital content you expect to find in our libraries. Help spread the word and raise awareness.

  • Visit and sign the petition.
  • Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag, #eBooksForAll.
  • Demand that Macmillan reverse this policy and provide you access to the new titles you want, when you want. 

Thank you for continuing to support Halifax Public Libraries. We will continue to stand up for your right to access information in all forms, including newly released e-books.