E-audiobooks and e-books comprise the fastest growing area of borrowing for libraries, notes the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. (iStock)

Libraries call for more access to digital books

Canadian public libraries say multinational publishers are not making best-selling titles in e-book or e-audiobook formats available to them just as demand is skyrocketing. When the digital forms are made are available, the libraries say prices are excessively high and purchasing models are excessively restrictive.

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council is calling on Canadians to demand stronger #eContentForLibraries of major multinational publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

Access to digital material is particularly important for those who cannot get to a library due to illness or disability, notes the council. (iStock)

Demand for digital content growing dramatically

The council says the situation jeopardizes libraries’ ability to provide universal access to content in all its forms including for those who may not be able to visit a library or read print materials due to illness or disability.

It adds that digital content is the fastest growing area of borrowing for libraries and that spending by the largest urban libraries increased by more than 45 per cent since 2014. In the last three years use of e-audiobooks increased by 82 per cent at the six largest libraries.

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