May 18, 2022

British Columbia: E-Books Proving Costly For Richmond Public Library


1. Richmond, British Columbia is a suburb of Vancouver.

2. The articles is also an example (and we continue to come across more and more stories like the one below) of how ebooks not only cost more per copy/license and, at the same time, reduce a revenue stream (however large or small it might be) that libraries were able to use in any number of ways. In other words, a double hit on a budget.

As library users are turning to consumer subscription streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video/Music, Hulu, Spotify, Rhapsody, and others, late fines are also decreasing . However, unlike print books and ebooks, where often multiple versions of the same content are being purchased) we’ve seen some libraries reduce their spending on specific multimedia content often moving to pay-per-borrow/checkout services like Hoopla.

From the Richmond News:

Rising salaries, electronic book costs and a steep decline in book fines are putting financial pressure on the Richmond Public Library.

On Monday, the city’s finance committee approved a $200,000 temporary boost to the library’s collections budget, but not before questioning its practices.

The library has an annual budget of $9.37 million, $8.54 million of which is paid for by the City of Richmond.


All in all, the city is paying $289,000 (3.5 per cent) more this year than it did last year just to keep operating at the same level of service

Read the Complete Article

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.