Why don't you have more eBooks and eAudiobooks?
Last Updated: May 22, 2023 Views: 1357

Many different factors affect whether or not we purchase specific titles as eBooks or eAudiobooks.

  • eBooks for library lending are sold differently than eBooks for private consumer use. Not all publishers sell eBooks to libraries for public use (such as Amazon's Audible original titles), and some publishers do not make their new eBooks available for libraries right away.
  • Publishers have different purchasing models for how they sell to libraries. Some sell them with a limited number of checkouts or with a built-in expiration date of one or two years. Publishers are continuing to change their sales and lending models for libraries, often limiting access and/or increasing prices.
  • Publishers charge libraries much more for eBooks and eAudiobooks than a consumer would pay for them. Library eBooks can be borrowed over and over again up to any limit on the number of checkouts and/or a time limit. An eBook that you might see on Amazon for $9.99 (or even less if it's on sale) could cost anywhere from $40 to $100 or more per copy for a library to buy. Also, the newest books by popular and best-selling authors, which have the most demand, are often priced at the higher end of that range. For example, Stephen King’s new audio titles are usually $109 per copy.
  • We purchase adult books in five different formats: regular print, large print, audio CD, eBook, and eAudio. Buying books across five different formats, plus the increased cost for eBooks and eAudio for libraries does present a challenge to what we can purchase.

There is some good news! We have been fortunate to be able to increase our budget for eBooks and eAudio over the past ten years or so, as we’ve continued to grow these collections.

As of August 2021, our digital collection contains over 125,000 items. This includes over 17,000 eBook titles (with over 80,000 copies), over 8,000 eAudio Book titles (with over 41,000 copies), plus more than 3,000 eMagazine titles
with unlimited checkouts.

Using tools from our vendor, OverDrive, we highlight eBooks and eAudiobooks that are Available Now for Adults, for Teens, and for Kids, as well as some Always Available eBooks and eAudiobooks on the OverDrive website and in the Libby mobile app.

If you'd like to submit suggestions for a specific title for us to consider purchasing as an eBook or eAudio book, you can submit a Materials Request in your online account. Our Selection Librarians will see if it’s available to us and review it for possible addition to our collection.

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