As demand grows, libraries are responding by offering more ebooks. This is what libraries have always done and will always do – ensure access to information for all. But we face challenges.
In some cases libraries pay 3–5 times more for ebooks than consumers.
Penguin Random House is leading the way to a more flexible pricing model for library ebooks. We hope other multinational publishers will also make progress on pricing issues.
Public libraries are key players in the publishing industry, both as major purchasers of books and ebooks and promoters of reading and literacy.
In February 2016,
Public libraries recognize publishing in Canada and around the world is undergoing great change, and that the publishing industry plays an important role in the development and expression of the Canadian identity and literary culture.
But libraries also play an integral role in a vibrant book industry. Libraries are places of discovery, places that introduce people to new authors, genres and topics. Libraries have significant purchasing power as buyers of books and ebooks. Imposing unreasonably high prices – and creating a barrier between people and the books they love – is not the answer.
These are profound issues, not just for libraries but for authors and even publishers who want to connect with new readers. Canadian public libraries are committed to raising awareness of this issue and finding a solution.
We are a coalition of public libraries working to raise awareness of ebook pricing issues, with the goal of ensuring broad access to ebooks for Canadian readers.