Macmillan eBook Embargo Limits CPL’s Ability to Offer Titles

Starting today, Macmillan Publishers will embargo sales of new eBooks to libraries for eight weeks. This means eBooks published by Macmillan will not be available for you to check out through Chicago Public Library until eight weeks after they come out. Once the embargo ends, titles will become available as usual.

During the embargo, libraries may purchase a license for a single copy of an eBook. However, CPL has chosen to wait until the embargo ends so we may purchase licenses for the number of copies we need for each title.

This embargo does not impact CPL’s ability to provide Macmillan’s titles in other formats, such as print books, audiobooks and eAudiobooks. The embargo applies only to eBooks published by Macmillan after November 1.

We understand this embargo impacts your ability to access Macmillan eBooks. We are working with the library community, including the American Library Association and the Urban Libraries Council, to advocate for the removal of this barrier to eBook access. As our mission states, we believe in the freedom to read, to learn and to discover. This embargo impacts our ability to ensure equitable access for all.

How You Can Help

Are you frustrated by this limit on what libraries can offer? Here’s what you can do to make your voice heard:

  • Join the more than 150,000 people who have signed ALA’s eBooks for All petition urging Macmillan not to limit access to eBooks to readers like you.You’ll also find tools and templates you can use to add your voice to the conversation.
  • Speak out on social media using the hashtag #eBooksForAll.
  • Write directly to Macmillan at