Library’s Digital Shelves Missing Nearly 90% of Bestsellers
The State Library of Kansas Launches Facebook Page Advocating for Library Users.
Topeka, KS, — Six major publishers are making it difficult, if not impossible, for libraries to purchase ebooks. Those same six publishers are responsible for publishing nearly all the bestsellers.
The State Library of Kansas has been at the front of the ebook conflicts, since State Librarian Jo Budler rejected a contract renewal from the ebook monopoly OverDrive, that would have increased costs nearly 700%. Since then, Kansas has settled in nicely with alternative platforms that include 3M, OneClickDigital, and the newly acquired Freading and Baker & Taylor. Now the dilemma seems to lie with six publishers, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and the newly merged Random House and Penguin Group.
In reaction to the unfair restrictions and prices these publishers are placing on ebooks in libraries, The State Library launched a community Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thebig6ebooks, bringing attention to the titles publishers are refusing to sell to libraries, price gouging or limiting checkouts per copy purchased. Budler is hopeful that this page will bring librarians and library users together and show that they are aware of the gaps on their digital shelves and are mindful of the publishers responsible. “Writing to publishers and complaining to each other about the publisher/library ebook conflict wasn’t enough,” said Budler. “We needed a platform of our own to come together with the public and really take a look at the content NOT available. It’s really a missed opportunity for these publishers. Data indicates that libraries increase ebook buying business. Why are these publishers seeing this as a threat and not an opportunity? This is a gain-gain for all parties — the libraries, the publishers, and the readers.”
To help bring attention to titles affected by publisher’s unwillingness to work with libraries, please visit and like www.facebook.com/thebig6ebooks. For more information on ebook lending in Kansas, visit your local library or www.kslib.info/digitalbooks.html.