Canadian Library organizations have banded together to launch a website that wants to bring public attention to high e-book prices.
The Toronto Public Library, Canadian Library Council, Ontario Library Association and the Canadian Library Association want to bring awareness to the super high prices publishers are charging them for e-books. They cite number examples, such as the new Michael Connelly novel Burning Room costs $14.99 on Amazon, but their libraries are paying $106.00 per copy. John Grisham’s Grey Mountain costs $15.99 for a retail edition but costs libraries $85.00.
“Demand for e-books continues to grow – in fact, it’s our fastest growing area of circulation at Toronto Public Library with 3.5 million checkouts last year alone,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian at Toronto Public Library. “Ensuring universal access to information in all its forms is key to public libraries’ mandate. But we face serious challenges because of unreasonably high e-book prices. We want to let the public know so they can understand why we’re not able to provide as many copies as we’d like of certain e-books, and also to start a broader conversation on the topic.”.
“On behalf of public libraries across the country, we’re speaking out on this important issue in the hope it will lead to more access to e-book content for all Canadians,” said Pilar Martinez, Chair of the Canadian Library Association’s Ebook Task Force and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Public Library. “We applaud Toronto Public Library and Ottawa Public Library for their leadership as we introduce more Canadians to this critical issue facing public libraries.”
Canadian Public Libraries for Fair Ebook Pricing will continue to communicate its position to several government and publishing stakeholders, and to work collaboratively with other large public library systems across North America. The coalition will hold continued conversations with multinational publishers as part of an effort to establish fair and reasonable prices and obtain more ebooks.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.