Librarians fight ebook pricing

As a dedicated ebook reader, I’m finding the debate over ebook pricing both intriguing and alarming. This post continues to raise the question of the quality of access to ebooks in libraries. Will access to ebooks be more restrictive than that to print books? There appears to be the popular assumption that digital items are more accessible because they lack a physical presence and can thus be downloaded easily. This is certainly not the case with the ebook collection in my local public library, where often access is restricted to only one person at a time, at least going by the number of times I have had to place an item on hold. While I can understand that pricing models often restrict libraries’ abilities to provide multiple digital copies, the placement of expiration dates on digital items by publishers is a rather different matter. What will be the impact on library budgets if ebook purchases last for only approximately one year if the HarperCollins model is to be applied?

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