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Old 07-04-2019, 09:26 PM   #61
crane3
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I don't know how ebooks are purchased by the libraries but in my area multiple copies of printed books are bought. The system catalogue will state where each copy is & where the copy is available to borrow. So, if 10 copies were purchased by the "Library" & distributed to the local libraries, there is a possibility that 1 copy will be available even if one has to wait a couple of days to get it to the local library for pickup. Exceptions are for something like the Harry Potter books.

I have never seen anything like more than 2 copies available as in 1 kindle & 1 epub in the catalogue. Looks like perhaps the library have relinquished lending of ebooks to Overdrive? Is the limiting factor Overdrive instead of the library system? I don't think that the library system has the same method of lending ebooks as that of pbooks.

The (my) county library system should have available the same number of copies of ebooks as that of the printed books for lending to the public. Cannot understand why the restrictions on the number of copies on ebooks vs the pbooks purchased. Is there a much higher markup for ebooks so that the libraries won't purchase as many pbooks?

Last edited by crane3; 07-04-2019 at 09:27 PM. Reason: misspell
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:36 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
Could you share the numbers?
The close-to-final cost was $3.1 million:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mai...7eeeab764.html

If you look at page 11 here you'll see that in 2010 there were 34,358 books plus 5,794 in off-site storage:

https://www.lmls.org/wp-content/uplo...ual-Report.pdf

I can't find any super-clear statement about this on the web, but the renovation actually reduced the shelf capacity by about 5,000.

Another consideration is that an eBook has, for eBook readers, the same value as a large print book, and those take up an above-average amount of shelf space.

There are of course semi-hidden costs for eBooks as well as for paper, like training librarians.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:52 AM   #63
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I have never seen anything like more than 2 copies available as in 1 kindle & 1 epub in the catalogue. Looks like perhaps the library have relinquished lending of ebooks to Overdrive? Is the limiting factor Overdrive instead of the library system? I don't think that the library system has the same method of lending ebooks as that of pbooks.
Not sure how Overdrive works with your library but here, Overdrive manages the loans/returns for the library. Basically, the library purchases the right to loan an ebook with the number of "copies", number of loans, length of the rights, etc. being up to the library, the publisher and the library budget. There is a cost for the library but it cuts their IT costs.

You have Kindle books in your library catalogue? Must be an American thing.

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Originally Posted by crane3 View Post
The (my) county library system should have available the same number of copies of ebooks as that of the printed books for lending to the public. Cannot understand why the restrictions on the number of copies on ebooks vs the pbooks purchased. Is there a much higher markup for ebooks so that the libraries won't purchase as many pbooks?
My local library will have more copies of ebooks that they expect to be popular but seldom more than the number of pbooks. Yes, the cost of ebooks is higher than pbooks and most of them come with maximum loan numbers and/or expiry dates -- 1 year or 26 loans and 2 years or 52 loans seem the most popular. After that time, the library gets to repurchase the ebook. By contrast, a pbook will be available until it falls apart and even then, they do have a limited ability to repair/rebind the book extending it's life.

Looking at the ebooks added in the last week, about 60% had one copy, 35% had 2 copies and the remaining 5% ranged from 3 to 7 copies.

By contrast, looking at J. D.Robb's In Death series, Connections in Death and Leverage in Death have 13 copies (wait time is 6 weeks and 1 copy available), the previous entries in the series have from 10 to 1 copies with Devoted in Death and Concealed in Death having 1 copy and an 18 week wait time as the longest.

Now to wait until September when Vendetta in Death releases and I find out how far down the wait list I am.
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:08 AM   #64
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First, thank you for sharing the numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
The close-to-final cost was $3.1 million:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mai...7eeeab764.html

If you look at page 11 here you'll see that in 2010 there were 34,358 books plus 5,794 in off-site storage:

https://www.lmls.org/wp-content/uplo...ual-Report.pdf

I can't find any super-clear statement about this on the web, but the renovation actually reduced the shelf capacity by about 5,000.

Another consideration is that an eBook has, for eBook readers, the same value as a large print book, and those take up an above-average amount of shelf space.

There are of course semi-hidden costs for eBooks as well as for paper, like training librarians.
So 40,000 books. Under the new Random Penguin model of ($45 rental for two years), that would be 20,000 * $45, so $900,000 every year for books.
Current for "Collections" is $590,000. Total operating expenditures for the library is $4,700,000. Staff cost is $3,300,000

I'm not sure about Steve's library, but it looks like the report includes several small libraries.

For my library...

I'll have to guesstimate on the number of pbooks, as the total number for collections is 54,500 for "physical books, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs, music CDs, puppet, and games". I'd say a conservative estimate would be 30,000 books. So...

Books 30,000, Under Random Penguin 15,000 * $45 would be $675,000 a year for books. Current for all material ("materials books videos") is $45,709. Total expenses 335,903. staff cost is $245,000.

Note that we are a single small town library.

So for our library, I agree with our librarian that it doesn't make sense for our library to buy Random Penguin ebooks.

Please note that my posts haven't necessarily been about long wait times for books/ebooks at libraries.

Last edited by John F; 07-05-2019 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:18 AM   #65
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Some information on the issue for Canadian Library users:
https://econtentforlibraries.org
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:39 PM   #66
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Some information on the issue for Canadian Library users:
https://econtentforlibraries.org
Where is the information?
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:03 PM   #67
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Where is the information?
Another issue libraries face is excessively high prices and restrictive purchasing models for eAudiobooks and eBooks. Libraries lend digital copies just like physical books — on a one-to-one basis. But the prices we pay for digital copies are exponentially higher.

And if you click on the right/left arrows just below this, you can scroll through some books with the pbook and library ebook costs. Some samples were:

David Baldacci, The Fallen at $22.80 for the pbook, $87.00 for the ebook.
Hilary Rodham Clinton, What Happened at $52.99 for the pbook, $104.01 for the ebook.
Malcolm Nance, The Plot to Destroy Democracy at $21.90 for the pbook, $109.00 for the ebook.
Anne Proulx, Barkskins at $46.79 for the pbook, $156.03 for the ebook.
Linwood Barclay, A Noise Downstairs at $19.20 for the pbook, $65.00 for the ebook.
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:13 PM   #68
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I have never seen anything like more than 2 copies available as in 1 kindle & 1 epub in the catalogue


It doesn't quite work that way. If there are two copies available, each of the next two people can decide whether they want an Epub or a Kindle version. Those two versions are not separate inventories to pull from.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:48 PM   #69
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Another issue libraries face is excessively high prices and restrictive purchasing models for eAudiobooks and eBooks. Libraries lend digital copies just like physical books — on a one-to-one basis. But the prices we pay for digital copies are exponentially higher.

And if you click on the right/left arrows just below this, you can scroll through some books with the pbook and library ebook costs. Some samples were:

David Baldacci, The Fallen at $22.80 for the pbook, $87.00 for the ebook.
Hilary Rodham Clinton, What Happened at $52.99 for the pbook, $104.01 for the ebook.
Malcolm Nance, The Plot to Destroy Democracy at $21.90 for the pbook, $109.00 for the ebook.
Anne Proulx, Barkskins at $46.79 for the pbook, $156.03 for the ebook.
Linwood Barclay, A Noise Downstairs at $19.20 for the pbook, $65.00 for the ebook.
And where is the rest of the information, such as why this is occurring? The simplistic reading is that those publishers are just evil because I want cheap books and they aren't giving them to me. I suspect that this is not the real reason.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:14 PM   #70
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And where is the rest of the information, such as why this is occurring? The simplistic reading is that those publishers are just evil because I want cheap books and they aren't giving them to me. I suspect that this is not the real reason.
Why not ask the publishers as to why an ebook costs a library an average of 2.5 times the cost of the hardcover pbook. Though you will likely have to be satisfied with "that's confidential information" or a similar evasion. Of course, there is also the always popular "no comment".

I suspect this comes under the heading of maximizing profit and protecting their sales from those evil fiends who are willing to check out books from the library instead of buying their own copy (or license). One other possibility is the First Sale Doctrine where once the library has purchased a pbook no matter the source, they can do what they want with it for as long as they want whereas the ebook is not owned by the library and the license terms tend to be in the draconian range.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:49 PM   #71
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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.
Who "needs to", or who does? Who does is disabled people, housebound people, pensioners, etc.

I echo the vigorous, adamant opposition to public library user borrowing fees. It's like suggesting that the heaviest users of public hospital care should pay a per diem.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:54 PM   #72
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Why not ask the publishers as to why an ebook costs a library an average of 2.5 times the cost of the hardcover pbook. Though you will likely have to be satisfied with "that's confidential information" or a similar evasion. Of course, there is also the always popular "no comment".

I suspect this comes under the heading of maximizing profit and protecting their sales from those evil fiends who are willing to check out books from the library instead of buying their own copy (or license). One other possibility is the First Sale Doctrine where once the library has purchased a pbook no matter the source, they can do what they want with it for as long as they want whereas the ebook is not owned by the library and the license terms tend to be in the draconian range.
So publishers are guilty, guilty, guilty until proven otherwise? Consider that overdrive isn't all that much like a library, where physical books are loaned, but much more like the various streaming services out there. While I don't really particularly like the overdrive model, I also recognize that a library buying 1 copy and loaning it out is unsustainable also, especially as more libraries open up their collection to a wider audience. With streaming services, one eventually ends up at the point where the artist is compensated base on the number of times a work is downloaded.

Personally, I think a better solution is for libraries to leave ebooks and audiobooks to private companies. I know it's sacrilege to some here, but it's really not a particular good match for a libraries core mission, which is generally tied to the local community.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:45 PM   #73
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So publishers are guilty, guilty, guilty until proven otherwise?
I would love to see someone come up with a model that justifies the exorbitant costs for ebooks when sold to libraries without making the publishers the guilty parties. Of course, the publishers could be compensating the authors which, going from a few authors I've met, is not the case since their payments to the authors seem based on sales not loans.

Since you, rather obviously, seem to feel that the publishers are not guilty until proven in a court of law, perhaps you might care to give some reasons for that belief.

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Consider that overdrive isn't all that much like a library, where physical books are loaned, but much more like the various streaming services out there. While I don't really particularly like the overdrive model, I also recognize that a library buying 1 copy and loaning it out is unsustainable also, especially as more libraries open up their collection to a wider audience. With streaming services, one eventually ends up at the point where the artist is compensated base on the number of times a work is downloaded.
Really? At a cost of $156 for 52 loans or 2 years which ever comes first, the publisher is not being compensated for their costs and the library is not buying (pr purchasing a license) for that ebook? And if the publisher does not pass some of that income to the author, how is that the libraries fault?

As for dragging Overdrive into the discussion? Overdrive does have some costs however the costs of using Overdrive is less than the library operating their own Adobe servers with the related overhead, need for backups, disaster recovery and all the other related costs of operating your own data center. You have noticed the move to the cloud justified as being cost effective amongst other reasons?

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Personally, I think a better solution is for libraries to leave ebooks and audiobooks to private companies. I know it's sacrilege to some here, but it's really not a particular good match for a libraries core mission, which is generally tied to the local community.
And the local community is not borrowing those ebooks from the library? From the librarians I know, the only reason for ebooks was a demand from their community. The main issue I've heard complained about is that ebooks are a lot more expensive so the library has to make a choice between say, purchasing 350 pbooks or 100 ebooks. And the 100 ebooks will require repurchasing in 1 or 2 years (or the equivalent in loans) whereas the pbooks will be there until either too damaged to loan or moved to the library for sale bargain books bin.
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Old 07-06-2019, 04:18 PM   #74
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It should be rather simple. For every ebook sold to a library, what would be the expected reduction of sales. Price said ebook in such a way that THEN makes sense for the publisher.
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:43 PM   #75
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Staff cost is $3,300,000
That was for all six locations with a total of, I think, around 170,000 books. So staff costs alone come to maybe $19 per paper book per year.

You could say that some of the staff cost is for eBook acquisition, except in our case that is done at the county level.

You could also say that some of the staff cost is for things like storytime that shouldn't be allocated to paper books support. I'd agree and guess that real staff cost is roughly $10 - $15 per paper book per year. That's just staff -- not utilities, paying off construction bonds, and lots of other costs.

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David Baldacci, The Fallen at $22.80 for the pbook, $87.00 for the ebook.
At bookfinder.com I'm finding this for $9.76 new in hardcover, or $5.74 for a new paperback.

The cost of a physical library pbook is insignificant compared to other costs ranging from rent to cataloging to the time of the acquisitions librarian in figuring out that a title would be a good addition to the collection. That's part of why many libraries decline all book donations.

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The main issue I've heard complained about is that ebooks are a lot more expensive so the library has to make a choice between say, purchasing 350 pbooks or 100 ebooks.
That's only true if the person purchasing the 350 pbooks isn't worrying about the cost of housing those books, perhaps because the capital budget is someone else's problem.

Or it could be that they discard one older book for each paper book they buy. As someone who often reads books published 20 - 50 years ago, I don't like that. I think there should be a value given to the loss of the opportunity to read the older book.

One of the many advantages of leasing an eBook is that the library doesn't have to choose between physical expansion and deaccessioning.

I'm not saying that the eBook lease is always a good buy. I am saying that I've never seen a plausible cost comparison.
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Your local library and e-books forumshrew General Discussions 70 08-27-2013 09:38 AM
Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read? jocampo News 29 03-15-2012 09:02 PM
Kindle 2 and local library gin_ger Amazon Kindle 13 02-24-2010 10:16 PM
My local library is a MESS Lobolover Lounge 21 11-30-2008 02:45 PM


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