Penguin Books had been one of the last pillars of the printed word, in that they had pulled their e-books from public libraries. All that is changing, however, as the New York City public library systems announced a partnership with the New York-based publishing house. Penguin Books and distributor 3M are set to make Penguin e-books available in city libraries beginning August.

Many publishers had scaled back their e-books in libraries working under the assumption that their availability was costing the publishing houses actual sales of e-books. Macmillian and Simon & Schuster, for example, have never allowed libraries to lend their e-books.

Penguin Books’ new plan avoids OverDrive, a major distributor of e-books to libraries, choosing instead to use 3M. The pilot program will still restrict the release of new titles, similar to the way Netflix often takes a few weeks for new releases available for streaming.

David Shanks, a chief executive at Penguin, released a statement in which he said “We have always been committed to libraries and we are hopeful that this experiment will be successful. Our partnership with 3M and the New York Public Library is a first step toward understanding the best means of supporting the growing digital missions of our great library institutions and their sincere desire to bring writers to new readers.” (Photo: Chris Gray/Flickr)