January 24, 2022

Sonoma County, California: "County Library Lags Behind in e-book Trend"

From the The Press Democrat [Santa Rosa, CA]:

In Marin [County], the consortium of eight libraries that includes the Free Library saw the number of e-book check-outs bound from 1,623 in September to 4,082 in December, a 150 percent jump.

But no such flurry occurred in Sonoma County. The library system belongs to an increasingly small minority of public libraries that doesn’t offer e-books, a service that’s become standard at libraries across the country.

[Our emphasis] “We know people really, really want it and we are concerned because we are falling behind what other libraries are doing already,” said Sandy Cooper, the library’s director. “But if we are buying e-books then we are buying less of something else.”


The library has earmarked $15,000 for e-books and is looking for $10,000 more, enough to provide a starting selection of 1,000 e-books to complement its collection of nearly 650,000 books, 26,000 audio books and 26,000 videos.


In Marin last week, there were 193 holds on 66 hardcover copies of “Death Comes To Pemberley,” P.D. James’ murderous and unofficial sequel to “Pride and Prejudice.”

Just eight people, meanwhile, were waiting for two digital copies of the same book, but that actually works out to a less attractive ratio for borrowers.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.