You know that book that’s at the top of your “Must Read” list? Imagine grabbing your tablet and searching the library’s catalog only to find that the eBook you wanted is unavailable. That’s what will happen under the new policies the major publishers have for public libraries. The new terms restrict how libraries can purchase and circulate eBooks and eAudiobooks. Here’s the situation:
- None of the big publishers are selling or licensing eBooks and eAudiobooks to public libraries in the same way they do print copies.
- Libraries are limited on the number of copies they can purchase, as well as when and how long they can be active in the library’s catalog.
- In some cases, libraries are being denied access to electronic new releases.
- These changes will make it impossible for libraries to provide equal access to information and hurt Ohioans who depend on the library the most.
CLEVNET libraries have promoted eBooks and eAudiobooks usage for more than 15 years, long before it was as popular as it is today. In fact, 1,711,143 eBooks and 889,823 eAudiobooks were borrowed from the CLEVNET libraries’ e-media collection last year. That’s a 20% percent increase from 2017.
The costs associated with eBooks and eAudiobooks are rising as well. Libraries are often required to pay several times the retail price and now may be forced to re-purchase popular titles every two years. CLEVNET libraries spent $2,097,797.80 in 2018 on eBooks and eAudiobooks, an increase of 12% percent over the previous year.
We hope to reverse or modify these new policy changes by working with the publishers and authors, as well as library consortia, our state and national library associations, and other stakeholders. We will keep you updated on the situation.