Friday, March 18, 2011

E-book cap for libraries

There was an interesting article in the Toronto Star today about HarperCollins Publisher putting a 26 download cap on library book titles. When the Toronto Public Library (TPL) purchases an e-book, only one user can take it out at a time, just like a regular book (you can have up to 10 e-books out at once for up to 21 days each). After that "copy" has been loaned out 26 times the library now has to re-purchase the book, albeit at a lower cost.  Hmmmmmm. Interesting. According to this article many librarians report that "regular books" can often circulate for over 100 checkouts-and I believe it based on the condition of some of the books I've borrowed over the years!! 

While I understand that the publishing company is worried that their sales of e-books will be impacted by people being able to borrow e-books from the library "forever", isn't a major point of libraries to promote and support literacy and access to knowledge? I think there is something very wrong about this situation indeed!!

1 comment:

  1. I read the Star's article and I agree that 26 checkouts per e-book is capping usage too low, even for a small library system. Reordering any book - e or paper - means one new book fewer can be purchased. With tighter book budgets and ever increasing costs of books, even fewer new titles will be available to read in the collections.


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