Effective August 1, 2019, North Olympic Library System (NOLS) has joined 45 Washington libraries in boycotting Blackstone Publishing’s eAudiobooks. The boycott is in protest of Blackstone business practices that create barriers for library patrons and impact library collections and budgets.

On July 1, 2019, Blackstone Publishing enacted an embargo that prohibits public libraries from purchasing eAudiobook copies of selected new titles until 90 days after their release, even though copies are available for retail purchase. Blackstone’s embargo reflects a growing trend in the publishing industry to institute purchasing restrictions that harm libraries and library customers.

NOLS offers eBooks and eAudiobooks through the Washington Digital Library Consortium (WDLC). NOLS card holders may recognize this service under the names OverDrive, Libby, or the Washington Anytime Library. WDLC initiated the boycott of Blackstone’s eAudiobooks with the intent of sending a clear message to Blackstone, and other publishers by extension, that such purchasing restrictions are not acceptable. As a public library, NOLS has an obligation to advocate on behalf of patrons for the best services possible and to spend library funds effectively, and has therefore elected to support the boycott.

During the boycott, no new Blackstone eAudiobooks will be added to NOLS’ digital collection. NOLS will continue to purchase Blackstone products in other formats, such as Audio CDs. Previously-published Blackstone eAudiobooks already in the digital collection will not be affected. NOLS will continue to add new eAudiobook content to the digital collection, choosing new books from other publishers.

If you have questions about the boycott please contact Director@nols.org. For more information about this library’s digital collection, visit https://anytime.overdrive.com. For more information about other download and streaming options available to you free with your library card visit http://www.nols.org or contact NOLS at Discover@nols.org. Comments to Blackstone Publishing can be directed to libraryservices@blackstoneaudio.com.