May 20, 2022

Recently Released Full Text Report: “E-books and Libraries: An Economic Perspective”


E-books and Libraries: An Economic Perspective


Stanley M. Besen

Sheila Nataraj Kirby

(Prepared for the American Library Association)


American Library Association
Office For Information Technology Policy (OITP)

From the Document

In this paper, we provide an economic analysis of the current environment in which libraries acquire electronic books (e-books) and offer some thoughts about the future. However, we must emphasize that, because the use of e-books is evolving so rapidly, our predictions must be treated as subject to considerable uncertainty. Moreover, it should be noted that factors such as social equity, community welfare, and intellectual freedom are necessarily outside the scope of the paper.

Direct to Full Text (26 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.