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

July 2013 ebook price comparison chart from Douglas County Libraries showing high cost for bestsellers.

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.