The prices are high, but that doesn't mean library eBooks are ripoffs.
eBooks have more value to the library. You don't need to put plastic on the jacket, stamp the owning library in multiple places, and generate the barcode. You don't need to choose between culling your collection and enlarging the library building. You don't need to pay people to check them out. You don't need to rebind them when they fall apart. And you don't have to pay to replace those stolen.
eBooks are good for a wider range of readers -- they are like a regular book, and a large print book, all in one. And libraries are already used to paying more for large print.
eBooks are also better for fastidious folks who prefer the new product experience. They don't have to deal with torn pages, or dog ears, or wonder why the book smells that way. You don't have to, if inclined to worry, worry about unsanitary past borrowers, such as those who wet their fingers with saliva to turn pages.
The above has nothing to do with why publishers charge libraries more for eBooks than other customers. The reason they charge libraries more is that they can. However, an eBook is worth more to the library borrowing community than is a paper book, for reasons noted above.
Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 09-03-2013 at 10:59 PM.