April 27, 2016
Waterloo Region – Regional Council recently endorsed a resolution requesting the Federal Government to assist in making eBooks more reasonably priced for public libraries. This includes all of the rural libraries operated by the Region of Waterloo in the Townships of Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot and North Dumfries.
Some publishers charge libraries as much as three to five times more for eBooks than the consumer price, while others place caps and time limits on use. Current eBook pricing models lead to fewer titles and fewer copies for readers to discover, despite booming borrowing rates and high demand.
The Region of Waterloo Library (RWL) is part of the download*Library consortium with Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Perth County (PCIN) libraries. The consortium shares purchasing power and resources in order to offer citizens of these communities a broad collection of digital materials.
Since 2009, RWL’s demand for eBooks and eAudiobooks has increased by more than 1,000 per cent. As eBook demand increases, download*Library strives to provide collections that meet patron needs. While the collection does continue to grow, external conditions such as restrictive pricing and the pricing models imposed by some publishers have challenged the consortium’s ability to keep up with patron demand.
Public libraries are key players in the publishing industry, both as major purchasers of books and eBooks, and promoters of reading and literacy. Libraries are advocating for a pricing model that introduces fairness and flexibility, specifically:
Public libraries welcomed Penguin Random House’s recently announced reduced eBook prices for libraries as a positive step in the right direction. This new pricing model will help public libraries achieve their goal of providing universal access to eBooks. So far, other multinational publishers, such as HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers and Simon & Schuster, have not adjusted their pricing.
Fair Ebook Prices Are Long Overdue
Here Are All of the Different Rates Publishers Charge Libraries
Toronto and Ottawa Public Libraries Welcome Penguin Random House’s Reduced Ebook Prices
For more information:
Lucille Bish, Director, Cultural Services, LBish@regionofwaterloo.ca
The Region of Waterloo provides more than 60 per cent of municipal services to a growing population of 570,000 people. We are committed to creating an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community through innovative leadership and a range of services such as: public health, social services, planning, heritage, water supply, regional roads, waste management, ambulance service, rural libraries, public transit, community housing, emergency planning, Provincial Offences Courts and airport services.