How many times can that library book be checked out – how many “circulations” can a library get out of a single book?
One publisher says 26 is the number for an ebook. Public libraries that buy this publisher’s ebooks will get only 26 “checkouts” before the book vanishes from cyberspace – and the library has to purchase it again.
Library Journal article: HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations,” by Josh Hardro, Feb. 25, 2011:
Excerpt: “In the first significant revision to lending terms for ebook circulation, HarperCollins has announced that new titles licensed from library ebook vendors will be able to circulate only 26 times before the license expires…” (Link to full article.)
You can find more stories on this subject by using this search (and limit your search to the past month so you won’t get unrelated stories): harper collins ebooks libraries
(Wow. The last time I visited the library, I bet I saw books that had checked out 100 times 26!)
You might also want to keep this in mind if you plan to publish a book. Read that contract. Research that contract. Make sure you know all your rights and that you retain the ones you want.
For Fun: Holly tells me that this news reminded her of a Jasper Fforde novel: The book software in Fforde’s book that only allows 3 readings is UltraWord from his book The Well of Lost Plots. From Wikipedia: “the thrice-read rule renders an UltraWord book impossible to read by a fourth person after the volume has been read by three people, thus rendering libraries and second-hand bookstores useless.”