Kentucky Libraries Unbound Boycotts Macmillan Publishers’ eBooks

Kentucky Libraries Unbound (KLU), a consortium of 105 county and city library systems including Boone County Public Library, has joined with the American Library Association and library systems across the country in boycotting Macmillan Publishers’ digital materials. The boycott is in protest of Macmillan’s change in their eBook licensing model to include limits on library eBook purchases.

On November 1st, 2019 Macmillan instituted a change to their eBook licensing. Under the new model, a library (or library consortium like KLU) may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in eBook format for $30, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title.  What this means is that there would only be one copy of the title – which can only be checked out to one patron at a time – to be shared by the over 60,000 active KLU users across the state for the first 8 weeks.  Then once the 8 weeks are up, additional copies become available, each with a two-year lease (still checked out to one patron at a time) for double the price of the first copy.

Kentucky Libraries Unbound is a partnership between 105 county and city library systems, designed to offer a wide variety of digital resources to our communities in order to enrich lives and inspire lifelong learning. Libraries across Kentucky joined together to provide our patrons a larger and broader collection of digital resources than each library could achieve individually. KLU strives to provide equal access to all of our patrons across the state of Kentucky, regardless of the economic barriers they might face.

With the fundamental tenants of our consortium in mind, KLU cannot continue to spend taxpayer money on Macmillan titles under these unfair and unsustainable licensing terms. We will not purchase new Macmillan titles or additional copies of Macmillan titles already in the collection. For our patrons this will mean longer wait times for already owned titles and that some of their favorite authors’ newest titles may not be added to KLU at all.  Instead we will be using our funds to purchase titles from publishers that have maintained equitable and fair licenses models for libraries, allowing us to provide the best service to our patrons.

Here’s what you can do to make your voice heard on this issue:

  • Sign the American Libraries Organizations’ petition at
  • Email Macmillan and ask it to change its policy:
  • Contact your favorite Macmillan authors, like Nora Roberts, Kristin Hannah and Liane Moriarty through their websites, about the injustice of Macmillan’s library ebook embargo

For more information about library ebook issues check out ALA’s Report to Congress: COMPETITION IN DIGITAL MARKETS

–Katie Justice, Digital Services Librarian and Kentucky Libraries Unbound Coordinator




Who is that lady standing out in the cold in front of the Library?

Have you ever noticed the woman depicted in bronze in front of the Main Library in Burlington? We get lots of questions and comments about her. The plaque by her feet reads Mary Draper Ingles. Children often read her name and then come into the library and ask us if she’s from Little House on the Prairie.  We’ve also been asked, usually by older children, if she is the grim reaper.

Kids are really concerned about her in the winter. They worry about her bare feet being cold. A lot of them also comment on the size of her feet. They want to know if the real Mary Ingles had feet that big. Halloween 2014 four (1 of 1)-3Most often, however, people ask us who she is and then want to know if we have a book about her. Yes, we have books about her; the most popular is probably the historical novel, Follow the River by James Alexander Thom. If you are interested in her story, you might want to reserve the book in our catalog. In the meantime I’ll share the highlights of her story with you.

Mary Draper Ingles was a strong, courageous woman best-known for escaping from Indian captivity at Big Bone Lick in Boone County, Kentucky. Most of what is known about her comes from a narrative account of the Ingles family written by Mary’s son, Colonel John Ingles.

Mary lived with her husband in a place called Draper’s Meadows, a Halloween 2014 four (1 of 1)-2small settlement of ten people in August County, Virginia. On Wednesday, July 30, 1755, the Shawnee attacked Draper’s Meadow. Mary was taken prisoner along with her two sons, Thomas and George. Mary’s husband was away at the time and was not captured. The Shawnee headed for the Ohio River and the Shawnee town of Sonnontio. When they reached the town, the two boys were taken from Mary and adopted into the tribe. Mary was taken to Big Bone Lick, more than 100 miles further west, to help make salt.

Sometime in October, Mary decided to escape. Because the prisoners were allowed to roam the camp at will, Mary and another woman simply left camp taking with them two blankets and two tomahawks. After four or five days, the women reached the junction of the Ohio and Licking Rivers, near present-day Cincinnati. There they found an abandoned cabin, which contained a supply of corn. According to the narrative, when the corn ran out, they survived on “black walnuts, grapes, pawpaws, etc.” The women crossed at least 145 creeks and rivers and traveled five to six hundred miles. They separated near the end of the journey and Mary arrived home on or about December 1, 1755. She reunited with her husband and had four more children before she died in 1815 at the age of 83.

Halloween 2014 four (1 of 1)Mary Draper Ingles was chosen as the subject of the Library statue in part because some of her story took place in Boone County and also because she was a strong heroic woman who never gave up. Mary endured great hardship to achieve her goal of returning home.

The Mary Draper Ingles sculpture was created by Matthew Scott Langford. Langford has been a professional sculptor since 1991. Born in Cincinnati, but raised and educated in Northern Kentucky, he lives in Union, with his wife and two daughters, in an antebellum log cabin, not far from the site of Mary Ingles’ escape.

Watch a brief interview with Matt Langford and learn more about the Library’s Mary Draper Ingles statue in the video below.