July 25, 2021

Florida: “Demand for E-Books Is Draining Library Budgets”

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.

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.

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