Toledo Talk

Library lack of E-books

Have any other avid readers here noticed that the library seems to be lagging in carrying E-books?

I think we have a great library when it comes to print materials but they seem really behind when it comes to Ebooks. There are three new books that I want to read and none of them are carried by the library in Kindle format.

Makes no sense since Ebooks have to be cheaper for the library than Ebooks. With an Ebook they don't have to worry about things like the book getting damaged, wear and tear. They don't have to worry about the book getting returned late or the manpower involved with checking in and out a book, shelving it, the expense of shelving it, etc.

created by classylady on Oct 04, 2017 at 08:54:35 pm     Comments: 11

source      versions

Comments ... #

What do you read? Their science fiction/fantasy sections aren't terrible and their new nonfiction is good.

If you don't see something, recommend it, they do monitor those requests as I had 3 books I recommended in the last year added to their library.

posted by taliesin52 on Oct 04, 2017 at 11:28:26 pm     #  

Do they monitor requests to have books carried in Ebook/Kindle format? They have the books in print format, just not Kindle format.

I know U of M's library is pushing to have all print books in electronic format eventually.

I think we have a great library system, but we seem to be behind the times when it comes to carrying electronic books.

posted by classylady on Oct 04, 2017 at 11:43:00 pm     #  

Yes, they do take requests for electronic books. I have requested ebooks and have gotten them. For some reason, though, when I request an ebook, somehow I end up 5-6 in line for it, even though I'm the one that requested it. When I request print books, I'm the first one to get it.

I know, I shouldn't complain about free stuff. First world problems.

posted by JoeyGee on Oct 05, 2017 at 06:54:12 am     #  

Ebooks are not cheaper for libraries. When a library buys a print book, they typically pay the same price the consumer would and they outright own it.

With ebooks, however, you're paying for a license to the content. Libraries are often charged significantly more for the license and they have limitations, depending on the publisher. For example, a library might have license to lend the title 26 times. Or they might have access to it for a set amount of time, say one year. Those same publishers also determine which ebooks libraries are allowed to lend. So, just because you see a title available as an ebook purchase on Amazon doesn't mean your library has the right to lend it.

Libraries and publishers have been working on mutually beneficial solutions to this issue for several years. I assume some progress has been made, because I've found TLCPL's collection to have much more content than it did just a few years ago.

posted by valbee on Oct 05, 2017 at 08:17:39 am     #   1 person liked this

What tools are you using to e-books? I know they use overdrive/libby but Hoopla is another option.

posted by savah1128 on Oct 05, 2017 at 09:10:33 am     #  

Do you have a library card for the Wood County Public Library? I have my card through Way Library in Perrysburg but I have access to every library in the Wood County network. They seem to have a bigger selection of ebooks than Toledo does.

posted by dell_diva on Oct 05, 2017 at 09:41:31 am     #   1 person liked this

Excellent suggestion, dell_diva! And supposedly, you can get a library card from any library in Ohio that receives public funding. (There may be a charge if you're not a resident.) I also have a card from Way, as well as Columbus Metropolitan. And all Ohio residents are able to get a State Library of Ohio card for free, which further expands your options.

posted by valbee on Oct 05, 2017 at 09:51:53 am     #   1 person liked this

Good suggestion on the Pburg library, I didn't know they had a better selection of Ebooks than TLCPL. According to their website their card is free for all Ohio residents.

Thanks for the info on Ebooks Vailbee. I didn't know there were all those licensing restrictions, I always figured it was like a print book and the library owned it and was restricted with it's lending.

The library staff has to be hating Ebooks though. It means less demand for staff to shelve the books, etc. Also means no revenue from late fees (although they may not make any profit off those anyway).

I like the convenience of Ebooks because I don't have to carry the book around with me and can read them anytime or anyplace where I have my phone and if it's a library book I don't have to worry about losing it or returning it late. And if there is a wait on a book I haven't finished the Kindle remembers the last page I was on when I can check it out again.

posted by classylady on Oct 05, 2017 at 10:59:25 am     #  

Furthering Valbee's comments, I reached out to my good friend Jason Kucsma, the Deputy Director of the Toledo Library. ( He sent along a thorough response to Classlady's original post:

Simply put, eBooks are deceptively expensive. The publishing industry has yet to find a model for eBooks that mirrors the cost-effective borrowing model that libraries have been using with print for generations. TLCPL has had 175 years to build our print collection to the level it is today; our eBook collection has only been around a fraction of that time. It is not possible to have the same comprehensive collection in both print and eBook.

Some behind-the-scenes info about our eBook collection:

•TLCPL's eBook and eAudio collection is a popular browsing collection, and the library's priority for this collection is to supply current, popular authors and topics. Retrospective collections or access to every book by a particular author is not possible.

•Titles that have received multiple purchase requests are given priority over single requests.

•Ebooks are more expensive than print books. For instance, a single eBook copy of Never Never by James Patterson is $84.00...for one copy. The library pays under $20 per copy for the print version. In addition, some ebooks are licensed; meaning the library only has access to it for a certain number of checkouts or a period of time until the library has to repurchase the title.

The silver lining:

•Lucas County residents passed our levy in 2016, and the library will begin seeing some additional tax revenue in 2018. As promised, this will positively impact our collection budget.

•The library also subscribes to a service called Hoopla -- which has a growing eBook collection which allows simultaneous use (NO Holds!). However, these records are not in our Library Catalog, so a separate search has to be conducted in Hoopla to see if it is available.

Want the best way to get access to all the library's digital content? Check out our app store:

posted by upso on Oct 05, 2017 at 12:44:22 pm     #  

You might want to check out - they tell you when there are specials on ebooks from amazon, apple, etc. I get a lot of my reading material for free through this.

posted by not_me on Oct 05, 2017 at 12:46:13 pm     #  

Thanks for the info Upso. Very interesting. I figured Ebooks would be cheaper for a library than a print copy since U of M wants to digitalize every book in their library collection and as a consumer print books are always more expensive than an E Book.

I'm amazed at how much more a James Patterson book is in electronic format than print. It seems like it would be the opposite since the publisher would have a lot fewer expenses such as no paper, ink or labor/machinery printing cost or the shipping costs or labor costs to ship it.

I think we have a great library system and it's about the only levy I'll ever vote yes on even though I've been using it a lot less thanks to Amazon prime.

Thanks for the heads up on bookbub. Amazon prime is great for avid readers. You can get one free book a month free from their library (draw back though is you can only read it on your kindle and can't read it on multiple devices) and the amazon first book is great. You own the amazon first books and I've discovered a couple new authors who I would have never read before and ended up buying or checking out other books of theirs.

posted by classylady on Oct 05, 2017 at 03:00:48 pm     #