Monday, May 23, 2011

Librarians at the Gate

Librarians all over the country regularly read PW (Publisher's Weekly) magazine, perhaps not so much for information on publishing trends, as to see what the bestsellers are, and read the book reviews. I rarely read the articles myself, as most feature publishers or booksellers. A recent issue, however, had this article about librarians at Book Expo America, and the quandries facing them when faced with e-book purchases. Libraries wish to serve their patrons by keeping up with demand for e-books, which grows exponentially. Some publishers will not sell to libraries at all, or limit how many times an e-book can circulate, fearing that providing the e-book format to libraries "would turn 'legions of buyers into borrowers'". I don't even understand that. If that were true wouldn't it be true of hard copy books as well? Why don't the publishers stop selling those as to libraries. The truth is libraries do buy a lot of books, and if more people are looking for e-books, librarians will buy more of them. E-book publishers should be wooing librarians.

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