Report: “Ebooks Seem Like ‘Netflix for Libraries,’ But They’re a Drain on Budgets”
The book-crammed Free Library of Philadelphia has found a way to stay relevant in the 21st century: ebooks. Last year, 28 percent of the Free Library’s total circulation of more than five million books came from ebooks and other digital content.
But it hasn’t been nirvana for the library and its taxpayer-funded peers.
In 2018, the Cherry Hill Public Library spent $46,000 on digital content out of a total materials budget of $175,000, Mann said. Digital usage rose 5.7 percent in 2018 over 2017 and accounted for about 14 percent of all circulation last year, she added. She expects total digital usage to climb about 2 percentage points a year.
Cherry Hill also makes the Hoopla Digital service available for ebooks, audio books, TV shows, movies, comics, and music at a per-checkout charge that can range from 70 cents to about $4.
So that it doesn’t bust the library’s budget, Cherry Hill restricts members to five checkouts a month, with a maximum charge of $3.99.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.