Angus calls for fairness for libraries
“Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus is calling on the Liberal government to respond to the difficulties plaguing Canadian libraries over eBook costs. Numerous restrictions on the purchasing and use of eBooks are making it difficult for libraries to service the needs of the public. Angus has written to Heritage Minister Stephen Guilbeault on the need to develop fairer access rights for public libraries.
Angus says libraries are paying up to four times more for an eBook than a printed book. “These books come with time limits on their use. That means libraries have to decide whether to spend large amounts of money on re- purchasing the titles or losing parts of their collection every couple of years.”
Angus says some smaller and medium libraries have joined together to tryand pool resources. But the problem still exists because only one reader may borrow a title at a time, and that results in very long waitlists.
“Compounding high prices and expiration dates is the fact there are also embargoes being placed on popular best sellers. And this puts the eBook market for libraries at a further disadvantage.”
Angus, who has written and published seven books, recognizes the need to support the struggling publishing industry in Canada. However, he is concerned that libraries are being unfairly targeted.
“Libraries play a huge role in our communities and must work with limited budgets. We can’t be handcuffing them even further.””