The State of Library eBooks

Several years ago, a patron wrote the library with a question about ebook availability.

The email outlined the patron’s dismay at library ebook wait times.

Fueling that dismay was the fact that there were many titles that this patron wanted to read but they weren’t available in the ebook format at all.

We agree!

It was important to receive this email and to begin a dialog with a loyal patron about the ebook marketplace for libraries.

In the early days of library ebooks, the big publishers wouldn’t lend their titles at all.

Library advocates outside Macmillian offices

Library advocates outside Macmillian offices

Library advocates raised their voices and the publishers heard. Publishers didn’t make it easy though. The cost for a library to buy a single ebook was approximately six times the cost of an ebook that an individual could buy.

We advocate for library ebook readers every chance we get.

Library advocates raised their voices and publishers came back with a license that was only three times the cost of a retail ebook but then put a limit of two years to use book.

At first, this licensing limit seemed outrageous, but the lower cost per title allowed libraries to buy more, and more is what library users need and want.

We analyze a lot of data to choose ebook titles to maximize library dollars and patron use.

Library advocates are still raising their voices and still need to raise their voices.

On November 1,  Macmillian publishing created a new barrier for library patrons.

Tell Macmillan Publishers that you demand #eBooksForAll

Tell Macmillan Publishers that you demand #eBooksForAll

They will only sell a library a single copy of an ebook in the first eight weeks of publication. Even if libraries want to spend money on the book to meet demand, we can’t.

You can be a library advocate and let Macmillian know that you disagree with this policy.

The American Library Association is gathering our voices to present the case that restricting access is not a viable solution to their marketplace pressures. 

Sign the petition and join the #eBooksForAll cause.

Now let’s get reading!

Try hoopla digital for always available ebooks as well as Overdrive books.

Additionally, all the titles below are Des Plaines favorites with multiple copies on Overdrive.


Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

Water Dancer

The Water Dancer

by Ta'Nesi Coates

Starless Sea

The Starless Sea

by Erin Morgenstern

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

by Lee Child

Catch and Kill

Catch and Kill

by Ronan Farrow

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