Ever wonder why there aren’t more e-books at your Stittsville Public Library?

Today is the perfect day to cozy up and sit back to read or listen to your favourite book. What, it’s not available at the Stittsville Library!? Other Canadian libraries are also wondering why not.

Wondering why more eBooks and eAudiobooks are not available to borrow? So are all Canadian public libraries.

Did you know that a number of best-selling titles for eAudiobooks are not available to Canadian public libraries including many well-known Canadian and Indigenous works? Even though the call for eAudiobooks and eBooks is rising swiftly, some major multinational publishers are not making them available. There is also the price point and restrictions that libraries must consider. The cost of a digital copy as opposed to a physical book – though both are lent out on the same basis – is exceedingly higher.

“Part of Ottawa Public Library’s mandate is to provide physical and digital collections that meet customer demands and community needs,” said Danielle McDonald, CEO of the Ottawa Public Library. “The current state of eContent pricing is making it almost impossible for public libraries to provide universal access to content in all its forms, to all its customers. We are asking library supporters from across Canada to make their voices heard, and demand better pricing and access to eContent for libraries.”

Fast facts (provided by Ottawa Public Library)

  • Digital content is the fastest growing area of borrowing for public libraries. Spending by Canada’s largest urban libraries increased by more than 45% since 2014 and continues to grow.
  • eAudiobook sales are increasing by double digits each year and, in the last three years, use at six of the largest Canadian public libraries grew by 82%
  • Overdrive, the leading provider of eBooks and eAudiobooks to libraries, reported a 24% increase in eAudiobook circulation in Canadian libraries from 2016 to 2017 alone

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council, along with public libraries across Canada, are asking the public to help resolve these issues by demanding stronger #eContentForLibraries of major multinational publishers. Canadians can send the message on social media, tagging these publishers in their posts: Hachette Book GroupHarperCollinsMacmillanPenguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

For more information on how to get involved, visit https://econtentforlibraries.org/.

If you want to see more eBooks and eAudiobooks on the shelves at the Stittsville Public Library, make your views known and get involved.

***Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is the largest bilingual (English/French) public library system in North America, serving close to one million Ottawa residents.

***The Canadian Urban Libraries Council is a national library group dedicated to working collaboratively to build vibrant urban communities by strengthening the capacity of Canada’s urban libraries. Our 45 member systems operate almost 700 points of access, and in 2017 were used by citizens more than 385,000,000 times.


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