“Why aren’t more bestsellers available as eBooks for me to borrow from the library?”

anotherimageTo help answer this common question among many library patrons, the State Library of Kansas created a facebook page to explain which eBooks are not available for libraries at all, and why others are too expensive to purchase or lease. In an interview on NPR, Jo Budler, the State Librarian of Kansas, explained that while “the cost to you and I might be $10 for a book,” the same eBook could cost a library $85 to rent for just a year, or may only be checked out less than 30 times. Major publishers restrict the availability of eBooks in libraries in an attempt not to diminish eBook sales. So, to expand the digital collection of the Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, Director Jamie LaRue decided to work with independent publishers and self-published writers and services.  Now, DCL patrons can access to 40,000 eBooks and might discover new authors to enjoy. They also have the option of purchasing eBooks – which benefits all parties, including the library. Several library systems are interested in adapting this “Douglas County Model.” As Ms. Budler points out, “…our readers, they’re going to find things to read. And if it’s not the bestsellers they may turn somebody into a bestseller, because the bestseller wasn’t available at the library.”

~ Olivia

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