Libraries and Ebooks: How much $$ is too much?
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|Wed, 10-23-2013 - 2:43pm|
I just read an interesting article about the price of ebooks and whether libraries should spend the amount on books with no literary value. Here's the article: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/libraries-and-ebooks-spending-big-on-fifty-shades-of-grey/ — and one of the parts that I find interesting:
"While all of that resonates with me, I think it needs to be balanced with dollars-and-cents sensibility — $23,400?! So people can read a book that I think many would agree has very little value when it comes to promoting literacy, spreading and securing democracy and giving people access to the information they “need.”
“Laters baby” doesn’t strike me as essential.
But that’s the great thing about libraries: They don’t make those judgement calls — nor should they. If it’s in the zeitgeist, it should be in the library.
Except that they do. Go to your local library and say to the librarian there, “what should I read next?” And they’ll tell you. I’d wager few would suggest Fifty Shades before many, many other titles.
So, on the one hand, it’s not for librarians to decide what they offer. On the other, it is for them to suggest what you should read. And buying a lot of copies of something is a way of doing that.
Therefore, I would suggest that it’s a foolish use of funds to buy more than a handful of copies of a very expensive ebook if it doesn’t have extreme value as judged by the librarian to promoting literacy, spreading and securing democracy or providing a community with access to information it “needs” — no matter what the demand."
I do agree that the price is outrageous — why is it so much? Does the paperback version cost just as much? But on the other hand, I'm finding it hard to swallow the author's opinion that just because it's Fifty Shades, it shouldn't be purchased in that quantity. I think the libraries, as the author suggests, should be saying, "Whoa... we're not paying that price." I can buy it for $10. I'm not sure about licensing fees and what it entails, but $78 for an ebook?? No ebook should be that much. The size of ebooks are minute and the profit they are making off that $78 is huge — maybe not as much if people were buying it outright, but still, there is a HUGE HUGE HUGE margin of profit there.