The deal has Harper Collins old 26 circulation limit and adds to that a 12 month lease period. Oh, did I forget to mention the 6 month availability embargo for new titles? But wait, they are only charging us cover price... until a book is checked out 26 times... or 12 months from now when we have to pay again or lose the book.
The email from the Collection Development Manager at 3M is positively Orwellian in its double speak "you should be thanking me for abusing you like this" (My comments added in blue parentheses):
From: [Heather McCormack at 3M]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 10:00 AM
Subject: Penguin Group (USA) Titles Now Available for Purchase to All 3M Cloud Library Systems
Happy Friday, Cloud Library Customers.
I’m over-the-Empire-State-Building excited to announce that effective today Penguin Group (USA) has agreed to expand its pilot with 3M beyond the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library and license access of its ebooks to all of our library systems. Titles are available for purchase (if we purchase it, don't we own it?) immediately in the Library Admin Tool.
The terms that 3M originally brokered still apply: There is a six-month delay on new titles and term of use is one year from purchase date. Library patrons will be allowed to access ebooks remotely using library-compatible reading devices, under the one-user, one-copy model. 3M is developing ways to make the renewal and repurchasing of titles easy in our new Catalog Acquisition Tool, which will be available in early 2013. (This entire paragraph is a masterpiece of doublespeak. "Term of use is one year from purchase date" means that you are not purchasing, you are leasing, renting, licensing- certainly not purchasing. The only time I have ever "repurchased" anything is when I lost it, sold it and needed another, broke it... or when it was a commodity or food product that was perishable. Hmmm, remember when I wrote back in January that ebooks were completing the commodification of books? http://www.thebookmyfriend.com/1/category/book%20culture/1.html The 3M/Penguin deal represents the first genuine business iteration of that warning. I love how she uses "renewal and repurchasing" as if that statement made perfect sense when it is utterly contradictory and incoherent. )
Attached you will find a spreadsheet of Penguin Group (USA) ebooks currently for sale (don't you mean "rent, license, lease?"). I will follow up very soon with a list of recent adult, young adult, and children’s best sellers, plus core backlist for those of you who wish to do deeper collection development. Suffice to say your fiction and nonfiction holdings stand to benefit greatly. Zadie Smith,T. D. Jakes, Harlan Coben, Nevada Barr, Stephen King, T. C. Boyle, Patricia Cornwell, and Lauren Willig count among Penguin’s marquee authors.
I cannot stress enough what a boon this is to the Cloud and, more important, your readers. Thank you for your business and suggestions about what we should work to acquire next.
Heather McCormack | Collection Development Manager
3M Cloud Library