EPL joins national call for fair eBook pricing

Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa libraries to host #FairEbookPrices Twitter chat March 31

For immediate release:

EDMONTON, AB,  March 29, 2016 – The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is joining forces with other libraries across the country to push for fair eBook pricing.

Canadian Public Libraries for Fair eBook Pricing continue to advocate for more reasonable prices and terms for eBooks from multinational publishers with an open letter to Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

“The cost differential of eBooks is a challenge for libraries across the country,” said Sharon Karr, EPL’s Manager of Collections Management & Access. “EPL’s eBook usage was up 19 per cent in 2015 and electronic borrowing was up 33 per cent overall last year. The demand is there and growing, and we want to be able to continue to provide for our customers.”

Some multinational publishers charge libraries as much as three to five times more for eBooks than the consumer price, while others place caps and time limits on use. Current eBook pricing models lead to fewer titles and fewer copies for readers to discover, despite booming borrowing rates and high demand.

Public libraries are key players in the publishing industry, both as major purchasers of books and eBooks, and promoters of reading and literacy. With the open letter, libraries are advocating for a pricing model that introduces fairness and flexibility, specifically a hybrid of existing pricing models that would offer libraries of all sizes the ability to buy the number of copies and also the type of copies that meet their needs.

Staff from the Edmonton Public Library, Toronto Public Library and Ottawa Public Library will host a Twitter chat on eBook pricing this week:


      • Sharon Karr, Manager, Collection Management & Access, Edmonton Public Library
      • Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library
      • Tim Tierney, Board Chair, Ottawa Public Library

When:             Thursday, March 31

Time:              10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Publishers, libraries, media, authors, government officials, library users and anyone interested in discussing this issue are invited to join with #FairEbookPrices.

Public libraries welcomed Penguin Random House’s recently announced reduced eBook prices for libraries as a positive step in the right direction. This new pricing model will help public libraries achieve their goal of providing universal access to eBooks. So far, other multinational publishers have not adjusted their pricing.

Canadian Public Libraries for Fair eBook Pricing joined forces in 2015 to inform library customers, government officials and the general public about this pressing issue.



About the Edmonton Public Library
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 14 million in-branch and online visits across our 20 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/donate.

About Canadian Public Libraries for Fair eBook Pricing
Canadian Public Libraries for Fair eBook Pricing is a coalition formed to raise awareness of challenges faced by public libraries as a result of high eBook prices charged by multinational publishers. For more information, visit www.fairpricingforlibraries.org or follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with #FairEbookPrices.

For more information, contact

Leigh MacKenzie
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Edmonton Public Library

Ana-Marie Critchley
Toronto Public Library

Rachael Duplisea
Communications Strategist
Ottawa Public Library
613-580-2424 ext. 41382