Study Shows E-Book Library Borrowing Isn’t Popular

One of the things I’ve always loved about libraries is that you can read for free. That’s the point, right? Since I was a little girl, I have been a huge supporter of the library. So when it came time for me to get an e-reader, I wanted the Nook, the only one  — at that time — that could download e-books from the library.

But according to the Associated Press, a recent Pew Research Center study shows e-book library borrowing is not very popular. Here are the reasons why:

1. People don’t know if their libraries offer e-books for download.

2. Libraries offer a limited selection of e-books.

3. The e-books are not offered in the available format for a particular e-reader.

4. Some publishers don’t make their e-books available at libraries because they’re scared it will hurt sales.

Though I love borrowing e-books, I think these are pretty valid complaints, except for #1. (I’m sorry, but if you’ve got an e-reader, one of the first things you should do is find out if your library offers e-books. And these days, most do.) The limited selection of e-books — whether it’s the library’s or the publisher’s fault — is a major issue. Finding an e-book you want at the library is extremely difficult because there aren’t many titles, and of the ones that are available, there’s typically only one copy, forcing people to go on a waiting list sometimes for weeks. Not to mention, if a publisher offers its print books in the library, there’s no reason not to offer its digital copies. Overall, this study is not very surprising, but brings up good points.

What do you guys think?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Study Shows E-Book Library Borrowing Isn’t Popular

  1. I do borrow library books for my Kindle. (My mom works at a library, so she taught me how to do it!) But I do get frustrated when I can’t find a library that has a particular book, or there’s a long wait list. I admit, I will often bite the bullet and buy a book if I can’t find it at the library! I need instant gratification!

  2. I got a Nook for the same reason – library books! I have since graduated to an ipad with a Kindle and Nook app. If your library does not have a large selection of ebooks, and you live in Pa, I suggest looking at other libraries. If your library card has a blue Access Pa sticker, you can get cards to other participating libraries in the state. For example, the Phila. Library system has a very nice collection of ebooks, and I believe you can actually apply for a card online. Check out their website!

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