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A few important words about ebooks and eaudio

Graphic of an ereader, books with headphones and a pink heart.

We love ebooks, and we know our users do too. Our ebook and eaudio downloads are on the rise, whether readers are using OverDrive, its companion app Libby, or Hoopla, our newest econtent platform.

While we are pleased with the thousands of titles we have available for use, we know the biggest frustration our users have is wanting titles we don’t have, and wondering why they are not available.

In some cases, the titles are just not available for us to purchase, even if they are listed as available for suggestion.

More often, it is a matter of stretching a limited budget in the face of ever-changing publishing dynamics.

This summer two leading publishers, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, have changed their lending model for ebooks and eaudio, moving away from contracts that allowed libraries to purchase a title (at higher prices) for perpetuity and towards a model which requires libraries to repurchase titles (at closer to standard prices) every couple of years.

So while users may be envisioning that once we have it on our shelves, we can just keep building our ecollection, that scenario is becoming less the reality each year.

This message does not come with a call to action. It is simply to keep you informed. We recognize publishers are still trying to find what business models will keep them in business long-term as ebooks and eaudio are moving from the fringes into the mainstream, and we are doing our best to provide a stellar collection with the resources that we have and with an eye toward long-term use.

It is just another way that we inform, enrich, and empower our diverse community.