HENDERSON, NV (KSNV) — In a digital world, public libraries nationwide are seeing more customers move away from the classic ink and paper novel to e-books.
But funding these electronic materials, come with limitations.
According to Henderson Libraries, the average cost of a hardcover bestseller is about $25 per book.
Never a shortage there. Once they purchase it, they can check it out as many times they’d like.
On the other hand, e-books can cost an average of $60 per book. But they come with metered access. Meaning how long they own it, is up to the publisher.
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“We’ve always seen that electronic books have been more expensive than physical books but as more and more people continue to use them I think the restrictions that the publishers place on them become more and more limiting,” said Marcie Smedley, Executive Director for Henderson Libraries.
Smedley says they only have access to an e-book for about two years or 52 checkouts. After the license expires, they would need to purchase it again, $60 per e-book.
The convenience of reading has noticeably shifted in recent years. Users can download books right to their devices.
But the sudden move from ink and paper tends to come around the time of giving.
“You know a grandparent receives a device from their grandchild or something, and then they come in and need that help with how do I then get these applications on my device so that I can download this kind of content,” said Smedley.
To keep up, Henderson Libraries purchases multiple e-books at a time. Considering the e-book can only be checked out to one person at a time.
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“We are limiting with the revenue streams that we have but we don’t see those grow as fast as the expense of the material,” said Smedley.
Smedley says they adjust their budget to add these items. But it’s because of donations and contributions, they are able to stock their virtual shelves.
A recent Henderson Libraries report shows over 3,000 physical books have been checked out more than 60 times.