Libraries buy lots of books. Library patrons like to read bestsellers at the library. They have e-book readers and ask: Why can't I check out these virtual books at the library too? The libraries want to provide them, but say the "big six" publishers aren't making it easy.
"Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they can lose money selling e-books to libraries," says Lynn Neary in a new report on NPR on Monday.
Take, for example, the current No. 1
Publishers obviously have a vested interest in not giving away their books to anyone for free--not to mention their long-suffering authors, most of whom toil for years on a given book and never get rich doing it.
Carolyn Reidy, CEO and Simon & Schuster, told NPR that publishers are concerned that e-books can circulate so widely and freely in a public library system--without ever wearing out--that it discourages people from buying them. "Why would anyone buy another book when they can get every book for free," she told NPR.
Simon & Schuster lauched a one-year pilot program this spring in which it made its entire e-book catalog available to three public libraries in
Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County public library in Colorado, isn't waiting for a better deal with the big six. The library has started its own digital book lending program using self-published books and books from 900 small publishing companies. The Douglas County program uses Adobe Content Server to make 40,000 titles available to readers.