Author Topic: Libraries getting gouged on e content.  (Read 482 times)

FIRE Artist

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Libraries getting gouged on e content.
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:14:36 AM »
As an avid econtent user of my local library, I found this article very interesting and disturbing.  I experience long wait lists, and have had to bite the bullet and purchase books for my monthly book club meeting due to extreme wait times. I guess this is why.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/libraries-e-content-challenges-1.5189591

The blackout period to allow publishers to sell more books is also interesting. It is not unlike the DVD release coming months after theatre release.  I agree with having a time limit to electronic content, libraries would have to eventually replace a physical book if it was popular. Charging more upfront for a book that may be a flop doesnít seem right - unpopular books donít wear out and are not replaced, seems like charging more upfront is another way to gouge the libraries who are essentially paying in advance for the replacement of a book which >80% of the time wouldnít have been replaced at all. 

I also blame long wait times on the 21 day check out time, if you get a physical book, you finish reading it and are more likely to return it early to get another book, so it becomes available for the next person in the queue.   With ebooks, most people donít bother and just let them time out.

This is all making me rethink my love affair with ebooks.  I should start browsing the physical books again.

Ynari

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Re: Libraries getting gouged on e content.
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 04:47:07 PM »
I've heard about this from librarians, and they always emphasize that they don't want to discourage people from checking out eBooks because of this! Showing support for the library is important, even if it is a bit more costly. It probably also depends on library size, though. We have a huge county library system, so there's usually "1 bazillion copies of Best Seller, provided by Donor!" on the front page of the ebook library site.

For more niche titles, it might make more sense to request as a physical book rather than an eBook for the reasons you stated (physical copy will last until the next eclectic person wants to check it out). That or buying the occasional physical copy yourself and donating it when you're done. We've done that with niche things that we don't expect the library ever to really have enough of a reason to purchase.

marble_faun

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Re: Libraries getting gouged on e content.
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 07:08:27 PM »
This part stood out to me:

Quote
Multinational book publishers are changing how they provide digital content to libraries: rather than selling e-books and e-audiobooks for perpetual use, they are adopting a business model whereby libraries must repurchase digital content after a set period.

Hachette Book Group is the latest publisher to make this switch, announcing in mid-June that its perpetual ownership model for digital content would be replaced by a metered system where libraries must repurchase e-books every two years.

Will this new system apply to things the libraries purchased years ago?  Imagine buying something, and then being told you no longer own it and have to buy it again.

This sort of flimflam is why I avoid buying e-books myself.  Would much prefer to get a physical book that I don't need anyone's permission to keep forever, and that I can re-sell or lend to a friend.

kpd905

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Re: Libraries getting gouged on e content.
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 01:57:33 PM »
Luckily my library only lets you keep audiobooks for 7 days, so you can move up the hold lists pretty quickly.  It can be a little challenging to finish a book in 7 days sometimes though, even when I listen at 1.5-2x.

marble_faun

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Re: Libraries getting gouged on e content.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 10:19:09 PM »
Just read this short essay about the pitfalls of e-books and thought it was apropos!

https://popula.com/2019/06/30/own-paper-books/

Just to give you a sense of it:

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...Microsoft is shutting down its e-books service, and all the DRM books people bought from them will thus vanish into thin air. Microsoft will provide refunds to those affected, but that isnít remotely the point. The point is that all their usersí books are to be shut off with a single poof! on Microsoftís say-so. That is a button that nobody, no corporation and no government agency, should be ever permitted to have.