Director's Message On eBooks

Publishers restrict your use of eBooks and eAudiobooks at Wood County District Public Library.

You know the book at the top of your “Must Read” list? Imagine grabbing your tablet and searching the library’s catalog only to find you will be waiting a very, very long time to read it, or discovering the book isn’t in the eBook catalog. That’s what will happen under the new terms the major publishers have for public libraries.

Here’s the situation:

  • None of the big publishers are selling or licensing eBooks and eAudiobooks to public libraries the same way they sell print books to libraries.
  • Libraries are sometimes only allowed to purchase 1 copy of an eBook for ALL our borrowers to share.
  • New books published after November 1, 2019, by best-selling authors such as Nevada Barr, Louise Penny, CJ Box, and Andrew Gross will be unavailable to our eBook readers due to the publishers' plan of selling only one copy to the entire statewide Ohio Digital Library.
  • Libraries are also limited on how long eBooks can be active in the library’s catalog.
  • These changes will make it impossible for libraries to provide equal access to information and hurt Ohioans who depend on the library.

Use of eBooks and eAudiobooks at Wood County District Public Library has seen phenomenal growth in the last several years.  In 2018, readers borrowed 102,623 digital items. That’s a 38% increase from 2017.

The costs associated with eBooks and eAudiobooks are rising as well. Libraries are often required to pay several times the retail price and now may be forced to re-purchase popular titles every two years. In 2018, WCDPL spent $129,983 on digital materials, an increase of 18% over the previous year. 

We hope to reverse or modify these new policy changes by working with the publishers and authors, as well as library consortia, our state and national library associations, and other stakeholders. We will keep you updated on the situation.


Michael Penrod

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