Earlier this week, Digital Book World reported that a library system in Ohio spent nearly $24,000 on ebook copies of Fifty Shades of Grey (Libraries and Ebooks: Spending Big on Fifty Shades of Grey).
The article caused debate in the library and publishing communities about the role of libraries, library budgets, ebooks and libraries and publishers.
Here is an official response from American Library Association president Barbara Stripling:
The success of the public library comes from its ability to respond to local needs and interests. That translates to the programs, services and even to the titles that libraries purchase. Public libraries make individual decisions about collection development and responsiveness to customer demand. This isn’t about any one ebook title but more about the ability of public libraries to provide access to the content in the formats that customers want. The amount spent on an individual title to meet the demand needs to be taken in the context of an overall materials spend. This example (Fifty Shades of Grey) was used to illustrate the divide between print costs and ebook costs and the dilemma that libraries face in order to satisfy customers. As free access to materials remains a fundamental tenet of public libraries and access to digital content increasingly relates to the relevancy of libraries, we must continue the conversation around the key issues of availability, choice, and fair price.
Read the original article here.