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Old 07-03-2019, 07:37 PM   #46
John F
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They are free to the borrower though, which I think contributes a lot to the problems libraries have.

If the library can't charge for its services, then the only ways it can manage increased demand is to reduce services, pay suppliers or staff less, or engage in politics to push for tax increases.

...
I pay at least two, maybe four, different taxes that go to paying for my library, if you consider that "free", than I'm not sure what to say.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:57 PM   #47
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If they could charge fees then they would have another way to manage costs. Even a small fee per loan would give borrowers an incentive to be more selective with what they borrow, and would be some protectiuon against abuse of the service.

I think it would be fairer on everyone to charge fees to people who make heavy use of the services, such as adults who borrow hundreds of fiction books per year.
Those who need library services the most are those who can least afford user fees. I can't emphasize how strongly I oppose this.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:24 PM   #48
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Those who need library services the most are those who can least afford user fees. I can't emphasize how strongly I oppose this.
Who needs to read hundreds of fiction books per year? If the library charged those heavy users fees then they would have more resources to help those who really need it.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:31 PM   #49
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I pay at least two, maybe four, different taxes that go to paying for my library, if you consider that "free", than I'm not sure what to say.
You pay the same tax whether you are a library borrower or not don't you? Then it is free to the borrower.

Edit: Maybe it would help if I word it "borrowing is free" rather than "free to the borrower".

Last edited by GeoffR; 07-03-2019 at 08:40 PM. Reason: borrowing is free
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:46 PM   #50
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The fact that US libraries don't even make public lending right payments to authors or publishers for lending paper books makes the demands for free borrowing from those libraries especially shameful.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:00 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
You pay the same tax whether you are a library borrower or not don't you? Then it is free to the borrower.

Edit: Maybe it would help if I word it "borrowing is free" rather than "free to the borrower".
Thank you for the clarification. I'm not convinced, but thank you.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:53 PM   #52
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Why don't you think they buy more ebooks? Too expensive and too restrictive.
The cost of building a new library for 30,000 books, and then buying the books, and then maintaining and staffing it for, say, ten years, is higher than the cost of ten years of Overdrive for the same number of books. At least -- it is based on the $3 million cost just to renovate my local branch a few years ago.

Yes, I realize that the library building does more than warehouse books. But most of ours is indeed warehouse and checkout -- the community room space is there, but it is small.

Also, some libraries have major auxiliary functions like teaching immigrants English. Again, ours does not, but it still cost almost $100 a book, just for major renovations and a modest increase in table-and-chairs space.

Of course, if they don't have to do renovations, the library building may be a sunk cost. So from that perspective, eBooks can indeed seem expensive.

Another possibility is that they just prefer paper to electronic.

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Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post
But I'm sure they are not buying them from Amazon in the same way a Kindle customer does.
True.

Amazon doesn't cater to libraries for paper books either. Libraries mostly use a wholesaler like Ingram or Baker & Taylor. They pay extra for services such as cataloging.

P.S. Libraries do a lot more than I've listed. Children with chaotic home lives do homework there. I don't want to imply that all a library does is house and loan out books. I do want to suggest, however, that the total public library cost of ownership/leasing of a paper book, and of an eBook, for a comparable time period, seems roughly similar. I'd be shocked if Overdrive doesn't strongly consider total cost of ownership in pricing.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 07-03-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #53
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The cost of building a new library for 30,000 books, and then buying the books, and then maintaining and staffing it for, say, ten years, is higher than the cost of ten years of Overdrive for the same number of books. At least -- it is based on the $3 million cost just to renovate my local branch a few years ago.
Could you share the numbers?

Quote:
... Another possibility is that they just prefer paper to electronic.
Why not ask your library? Talking to my librarian, they are not happy about Random Penguin's new library ebook policy, and won't be purchasing their ebooks.

Doing a quick Google, I see libraries complaining about RP's new policy, I don't recall any in favor of it.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #54
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leebase, what does your librarian think of the new Random Penguin policy?
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:41 AM   #55
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Thank you for the clarification. I'm not convinced, but thank you.
Supply and demand say that there is infinite demand for free goods. Saying that I pay taxes, therefore it's not free is a bit like telling the police officer who is writing you a ticket that you pay his salary. It might be true in some sense of the word, but it's pretty much meaningless with regards to the situation being discussed. The issue is that some people abuse the privilege.

Many libraries actually limit the number of books that a specific card holder can check out at a given time. Back when I was a kid, my local library limited users to 5 books at a time. It seems to me that is a good way to manage such things.

Different libraries have different challenges. Many times, libraries are at the rear of the queue when it comes to funding from the local government. The solution isn't to demand that publishers sell books to libraries at discount cost, the solution is to make sure your local government adequately funds your library if the library is important to you.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:38 AM   #56
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Supply and demand say that there is infinite demand for free goods. Saying that I pay taxes, therefore it's not free is a bit like telling the police officer who is writing you a ticket that you pay his salary. It might be true in some sense of the word, but it's pretty much meaningless with regards to the situation being discussed.
I'm not sure what distinction you are making. My taxes do pay the police officer's salary, in the sense that it pays his salary. I wouldn't make the leap that I am therefore his boss, but it does pay his salary.

Just as my taxes pay for library books.

Quote:
...Different libraries have different challenges. Many times, libraries are at the rear of the queue when it comes to funding from the local government. The solution isn't to demand that publishers sell books to libraries at discount cost, the solution is to make sure your local government adequately funds your library if the library is important to you.
I don't believe libraries are demanding discount pricing. I believe they need pricing that allows them to license ebooks.

Personally, I do not want my library to buy ebooks if they are not getting value for their money.

What does your librarian say about the new Random Penguin policies?
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:55 AM   #57
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A bit more like, if you want to use this great "free" service, you are stuck living within its limitations.

If you can't afford $50 to take your family to the movie theater to see Toy Story 4 the week it comes out, then you wait six months and get it from Redbox for $2 instead. It's not Eff You to poor people, it's recognizing that free/cheaper options have shortcomings relative to throwing money at whatever you want.

Edit: Admittedly, it would have been nicer to say "If you don't want to spend your cash", instead of "If you are poor", but that really doesn't change the fact that all of us have to decide how we spend our limited funds. Very few of us can just buy whatever we want, whenever we want.
Exacty
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:58 AM   #58
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Wow, what a display of the "Eff you, I've got mine" attitude.
It's a display of reality. The article used as their example the TRAGEDY of not being able to read Oprah's latest book during it's high demand window.

That's no tragedy at all. And ebooks haven't changed the reality. No library ever buys enough books to meet the demand window of hot books. Never have, never will.

But we must whine and complain about how something TRAGIC has occurred because publishers aren't willing to destroy their own business by selling to libraries cheaply enough such that cheap ass libraries could cover the demand window....taking away the vast majority of the revenue a book is ever going to receive.

How terrible. We pay TAXES dontcha know....so, why should we have to buy our own books?!
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #59
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Those who need library services the most are those who can least afford user fees. I can't emphasize how strongly I oppose this.
Exactly. While SOME people pay taxes that support the library, the libraries services are for all...tax payer or not. It's to allow the poor free access to books. A library is not a "group buying exercise for tax payers".

Your paying of taxes has ZERO relation to your rights to read a particular book at a particular time.

For THAT....you go to your book seller and buy yourself a book. I know...a hard concept to imagine.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:02 AM   #60
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I think it would be fairer on everyone to charge fees to people who make heavy use of the services, such as adults who borrow hundreds of fiction books per year.
The taxpayers would storm the libraries with torches and pitchforks if this happened. I am already paying $100-$130 per year in property tax directly to the county library system. ($100 per $100,000 value home) The screeching would be heard worldwide if additional fees were charged to the borrowers.

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Who needs to read hundreds of fiction books per year? If the library charged those heavy users fees then they would have more resources to help those who really need it.
Seriously? On the same logic, who needs to read hundreds of non-fiction books per year?

Who will do the deciding, in this world, of what books are needful and what books are not, therefore a fee is demanded to read them? Anyone actively in school can read for free, but the senior citizen who is housebound must pay a fee if they want to borrow the latest Nora Roberts?

Perhaps the fees could be based on the politics of the author? Or maybe the color of their skin, or eyes.
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