The demand for eBooks at the Pratt Library rose 79% last year. But access to eBooks may soon be severely limited.
Beginning November 1, Macmillan Publishers will only allow public libraries to purchase ONE copy of a new eBook for the first 8 weeks. That’s ONE book for the entire 600,000+ population of Baltimore City!
What Does This Mean for You?
Wait times for some new eBooks will dramatically increase
Currently the Pratt orders about a dozen eBook copies of a new title and adds more to keep up with demand.
With just one copy, only 3 or 4 customers will be able to download a new title for the first 2 months
Access will be reduced for customers who depend on the library
Libraries already pay more for eMaterials due to excessive pricing structures from publishers
For example a recent new release:
Library pays: $59.99 for 24 months of access
Consumer pays: $14.99
Why is This Happening?
Macmillan believes public libraries “cannibalize” publishers’ profits.
However a recent Library Journal survey finds:
One of two people purchase a book they first borrowed from the library
76% of people purchase a title by an author they discovered at the library
Why is This Important?
eBooks provide access to customers, especially with those visual and other disabilities who rely on the adjustable text size and spacing
A library embargo of eBooks deepens the digital divide
This policy goes against the Pratt Library’s mission.