Libraries pay up to 550% more for e-book bestsellers than consumers


According to ALA’s 2013 State of America’s Libraries Report, 2012 was yet another tumultuous year for libraries in their quest to achieve fairness in e-book lending. ALA President Maureen Sullivan published an open letter to America’s publishers in September, requesting change, after Penguin (one of the “Big Six” publishers) denied libraries access to its titles, and others drastically increased their prices. To provide more information about this issue, Douglas County Libraries has a series of monthly e-book price comparison reports. Their July 2013 report shows that libraries still have a long way to go in this quest, as they are paying up to 550% more for e-book bestsellers than consumers.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.


  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.


See more @


LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Staff & Contact Info