Editors Note: This is a topic we’ve discussed several times on infoDOCKET and I mention often during presentations. It’s crucial that the library community understand what this could mean for the long term viability of a variety of well-funded library services. Libraries are and continue to be about a many types of resources (in various formats) and services. eBooks are just one of them. It would be wonderful if e-book prices were lower but at least for now we can’t lose track of reality. Where is the line between giving some of the people what they want and providing a high quality library to meet the needs of many users?
From the Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale):
In the Palm Beach County system, the $300,000 e-book budget has doubled each year since 2009 — and library patrons can expect to see fewer new music CDs and audio books as scarce resources get shuffled to e-books.
At the Parkland library, which is run by the city, this year’s budget of $5,000 to buy new e-book titles is likely to shoot up to $6,500 in the proposed budget, and that’s a number that’s expected to grow each year.
At the Broward County branch libraries, the $597,000 budget for e-books in 2011 has skyrocketed to $750,000, and an additional librarian has recently been assigned to keep up with the growing demand of inventory, which quadrupled in one year.
To keep up with requests, 13 city-run libraries in Broward and Palm Beach counties created a consortium more than a year ago to share titles and cut down on costs. There are 1,700 titles in the consortium, and last year 16,000 e-books were checked out.
Read the Complete Article
See Also: New Report Provides In-Depth Review of eBook Borrowing at Five U.S. Public Libraries
The report is titled “Struggling to Satisfy Demand” and was written by Matt Weaver.