The big news this past week in library-land is the price hike Random House initiated for e-books sold to libraries. For those keeping score Random House was one of the few publishers still selling e-books to libraries. Though I imagine tripling the price will leave fewer libraries with the coin to buy from them.
Truth be told I have access to library e-books through work, but I don’t bother with them. Quite frankly it is too much of a hassle when one click gets a book to my Kindle or Nook App. Currently if I want an e-book from my library I have to log into the digital library, find the book, add it to my book bag, then check it out. That is only on a good day. Most titles are often already in circulation so instead of getting the e-book I must add my name to the the list and in several weeks I’ll get an email saying my e-book is available for only two weeks before hopelessly tumbling off my device into the electron netherworld. This is what you get when you marry new technology to an old system.
So is Random House’s price hike just a grab for more money from libraries or the end of libraries as we know them? Rather than paying Random House’s extortion or even firing up the protest/letter writing/petition machine, libraries would be better off directing their patrons to other content. As long as libraries continue to play by the same rules even when the other side is rewriting them as they go their patrons will not be served. Let’s hear what you think in the comments.
Going through my library blogs I found this from The Librarian by Day Bobbi Newman. Sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? Perhaps libraries are catching on.