We’re in the EBook Business

Hutch Tibbetts

Hutch Tibbetts

The “Big 6″ publishers are refusing to sell e-content to libraries or else they charge high prices and impose strict restrictions on usage. Overdrive raised pricing unilaterally in Kansas and retained ownership of e-book titles, which then were not discoverable through the OPAC. And if the library cancelled the Overdrive contract, they would lose ownership of the e-books and would not be able to lend them.

Available content originated almost entirely from mainstream vendors, but some content previously unavailable was avail through independent publishers, local historical documents, or was self-published. (Self-publishing is increasing; about 600,000 titles are expected to appear this year.)

To answer these problems, the Douglas County, CO Library (DCL), where Hutch is the Digital resources Librarian, developed a new e-book model: libraries should own rather than lease their content. E-books are treated just like print materials and circulate on a 1 user/copy basis. The library buys additional copies when there are 4 holds on a title. The staff found new ways to promote their e-books.

 

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