Library e-book readers losing out because of publishers? - – Rockford’s News Leader

Library e-book readers losing out because of publishers?


Some Rockford area libraries struggle to keep up with readers demand, but not for traditional books. People are asking for e-books, but smaller libraries in particular say the cost for them is much more than what you might have to pay.

"An average person could go to perhaps and buy an e-book for 11 dollars it might cost the consortia $85 to purchase," says Michele Arms, Cherry Valley Library District, assistant director.

The Rockford Public Library says publishers like Random House charge that much for one copy of a best selling e-book. While others like Harper Collins are limiting the number of check-outs of their e-book to 26 times then the library has to purchase it again. That's what the Cherry Valley Library District is battling along with an increasing number of e-book readers. The number of checkouts of e-books has practically doubled, last year 3400 this year 7400.

"The publishers are very reluctant to sell to libraries because they are afraid they are going to lose money. The books, the e-books do not wear out so we have access to them 24-7 as long as they aren't checked out so it's a different model for them," says Rose Peterson, Rockford Public Library, IT/collection development.

Rockford library leaders have set aside enough money to have a healthy collection of around 25,000 e-books. But for places like Cherry Valley, their patrons only have about 9,000 to choose from even though they belong to a consortium of other small libraries.

"They are very sympatric when we explain to them what the situation is. They understand that we can't always get the title that they want or they understand that it's prohibitive as cost-wise so they have been very understanding," says Arms.

North Suburban Library in Loves Park says it is experiencing problems similar to Cherry Valley. Leaders hope with enough libraries petitioning publishers they will find a more fair way to sell e-books.

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