How Libraries Make E-books More Accessible
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Libraries contain an array of resources aside from books. They also offer visitors a collection of videos, audiobooks, graphic novels, and even video games. Additionally, you’ll find resources for studying, like free wifi, computer access, printing materials, and even 3D printers! Of course, e-books are a part of libraries too.
What Are E-books?
E-books are digital versions of printed books that users can read on their phones, tablets, computers, or e-book readers. As a surprisingly common medium, e-books have made literature accessible to people unable to afford printed books or host a private library of their favorite novels. Today, e-books are common in libraries, allowing users to check out digital materials just as they would a physical book.
Libraries and E-books
Libraries, however, do not own their e-books. They are instead rented directly from publishing companies. The publisher provides the library with public access to the e-book but limits the number of times readers can rent it. Once the library has rented out the file enough times, the publisher removes the e-book file from the library’s digital database.
These days, e-books are just as expensive as physical books for the standard buyer. However, they are far more expensive for libraries. A library has to pay extensive fees for access to e-books and then must renew their access once they’ve hit the specified number of rentals.
How to Support Your Library’s E-book Collection
This sounds like a terrible reason to invest in e-books, right? Unfortunately, publishing companies and e-book providers do this to individual readers too. Instead of buying an e-book to keep, many e-book sellers provide readers with a rotating list of books that may change based on location or date. Once your time with the book is up, it’s gone from your library. Public libraries, however, can provide a consistent selection of e-books year-round, and you don’t have to pay 30 bucks to rent them.
So, how do we help libraries expand their e-book collections and keep them running?
Send an email to your Representatives to show your support for libraries!
Fundraising is a great way to support your local library. Since libraries aren’t private, for-profit institutions, they have to rely on public funding to keep their digital licenses up to date. Libraries primarily make money from donations, library card purchases, overdue item fees, and fundraisers. Next time your library has a fundraising event, check it out and donate some cash!
Check Out E-books!
If you don’t have money to give, that’s alright—you can keep supporting your library’s e-book collection simply by checking out e-books. Like we suggest you check out banned or challenged books frequently, frequently checking out e-books shows your library that there’s a demand for the medium. They’ll be more likely to allocate more funds to their e-book collections in the future.
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries.
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