January 19, 2022

Canada: Toronto’s City Librarian Discusses Ebook Pricing in Interview

From The Star:

Toronto Public Library is crying foul over “unreasonably high” ebook prices that it says limit its titles as demand soars for virtual reading.

In an interview with the Star on Tuesday, the city librarian [Vickery Bowles] called the prices and conditions “unsustainable,” saying some publishers charge libraries $85 for an ebook while the average consumer gets the same title for only $15.99.


In 2009, the library spent under $200,000 on its electronic collection, 1.1 per cent of total spending. That figure is expected to be more than $3 million for this year, almost 20 per cent of the entire collections budget.


If Toronto Public Library is going to (need) 100 copies of an ebook, what would work for us is if we could buy 10 copies at a premium price of, say, $40 per copy, and we would have ongoing and perpetual access to those 10 copies,” she said.

Read the Complete Article

Canadian Public Libraries for Fair Ebook Pricing Launches Website

See Also: An Interview with Toronto’s New City Librarian, Vickery Bowles (January 8, 2015)

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.