From The Deseret News:
E-books are purchased through OverDrive Inc., an e-content provider to more than 11,000 libraries. The Salt Lake Library pays $12,000 a year for the OverDrive online checkout service, then pays a fee per title to rent out books to patrons.
The library has to buy multiple copies because each is checked out online one-by-one. For example, if the library wants to purchase five titles of John Grisham’s “The Litigators,” then it would have to pay $184.95 at $36.99 per book.
Print copies of the same book cost $28.95.
Experts in e-content acquisition say if this model doesn’t change, libraries will be in trouble.
Michael Porter, a former librarian, said that the high prices for e-content are interfering with the mission of library systems. He now works with Library Renewal, a nonprofit group working to create an infrastructure for e-content acquisition that bridges the gap between publishers and libraries.