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Penguin returns its e-books to New York libraries

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Brian Snyder/Reuters

(Read caption) The pilot program for the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library is scheduled to start in August.

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After yanking their e-books off library shelves last fall, Penguin Books will be bringing their titles back to the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library for a one-year pilot program.

The question of how to make e-books available to libraries has been one that publishers have struggled with, attempting to make sure their e-book sales remain robust while also making the digital titles available to readers who want to borrow them from public libraries. Up until now, only two of the major publishers in the United StatesRandom House and HarperCollins – have been making their e-books available to libraries at all, and some librarians say that the pricing and circulation limits imposed by those publishers make it difficult for libraries to acquire their titles for their patrons.

Penguin's library program will be different from those at Random House and HarperCollins but comes with restrictions of its own. Penguin e-books for the two New York libraries, which will be made available through 3M, will arrive at the libraries six months after they are initially released. After a year has passed, the titles will be removed.

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