eBooks are a hot commodity. With many having received an e-reader of some kind as a gift over the holidays, the library community is seeing a massive jump in the number of requests for ebook services. Our own Washington Anytime Library (via Overdrive) has seen an unprecedented number of checkouts and holds since the holiday, and it shows no sign of letting off.
In the meantime, we're seeing patrons a tad dismayed by increased wait times and also that they can't find certain books in the digital format.
Unfortunately, our hands are tied:
"Sadly, unlike a regular person, a library cannot pay Amazon or Barnes & Noble for an eBook and then lend it out to people. We can buy a printed book from these companies, place it on the shelf, and lend it out--but digital content is being treated differently by the publishers and the companies who manage digital content licensing." (Sacramento Public Library, "Why aren't there more eBooks?")
This makes it tough for us to fulfill your needs. Currently, there are five publishers who are refusing to provide viable solutions for libraries:
- Simon and Schuster
- Penguin Group
- Hatchette Book Group
- Brilliance Audio
It's just the tip of the iceberg, however:
- Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent
- Publishers vs. Libraries: an eBook Tug of War
- Major Publishers Pull Plug on New eBooks for Lending Libraries
- Why eBooks still Roil the Publishing World
- eBook Publishers Want Library Borrowing to Be Difficult
Do you think this is wrong? We do, too. If you want to help, we encourage you to make your discontent known by contacting these publishers to let them know what you think.