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Posted on: August 15, 2019

Blackstone Publishing boycott

eaudiobook

In response to business practices that create barriers for library patrons, the Schertz Public Library has chosen to boycott Blackstone Publishing’s eAudiobooks for six months, beginning Aug. 1, 2019 and ending Jan. 31, 2020.

The Schertz Public Library offers eBooks and eAudiobooks through the vendor platform OverDrive. Schertz Public Library card holders may recognize this service under the names Lone Star Digital Library, OverDrive, or Libby.

Beginning July 1, 2019, Blackstone Publishing enacted an embargo, prohibiting public libraries from purchasing eAudiobook copies of selected new titles for 90 days after their release. This means that public libraries are not allowed to buy eAudiobooks from Blackstone even though copies are available for individuals to purchase through regular retail sites.

As a public library, the Schertz Public Library has an ethical obligation to ensure that library patrons have access to a broad range of material. As public servants, librarians are obliged to spend library funds effectively and responsibly.  Any publisher or vendor that creates a barrier between library patrons and information access impinges on a library’s ability to use local tax dollars responsibly.

For these reasons, the Schertz Public Library has chosen to boycott Blackstone Audio’s eAudiobooks for the period described. During this time, no new Blackstone eAudiobooks will be added to the digital collection.

The Schertz Public Library will continue to purchase Blackstone products in other formats, such as Audio CDs, that are not impacted by Blackstone’s implemented embargo. It will continue to add new eAudiobook content to the digital collection, choosing an equal number of new books from other publishers. Previously-published Blackstone eAudiobooks already in the digital collection will not be affected.

For more information about this library’s digital collection, visit https://lonestardigitalibrary.overdrive.com/. For more information about other download and streaming options available to you free with your library card visit schertzlibrary.org or contact the Schertz Public Library at librarian@schertz.com. Comments to Blackstone Publishing can be directed to libraryservices@blackstoneaudio.com.

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