A Message from the Director

I often spend a lot of time talking about issues facing just our library, but this month I want to call to your attention a national issue you probably haven’t read about, but which impacts the Massillon Public Library: Publishers are limiting your use of eBooks and eAudiobooks. You know that book that’s at the top of your “Must Read” list? Imagine grabbing your tablet and searching the library’s catalog only to find that the eBook you wanted is unavailable. That’s what will happen under the new policies the major publishers have for public libraries. The new terms restrict how libraries can purchase and circulate eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Here’s the situation:
– None of the big publishers are selling or licensing eBooks and eAudiobooks to public libraries in the same way they do print copies.
– Libraries are limited on the number of copies they can purchase, as well as when and how long they can be active in the library’s catalog.
– In some cases, libraries are being denied access to the electronic new releases.
– These changes will make it impossible for libraries to provide equal access to information and hurt Ohioans who depend on the library the most.

The Massillon Public Library has promoted eBook and eAudiobook usage for more than 12 years, long before it was as popular as it is today. In fact, 27,750 eBooks and 10,133 eAudiobooks were borrowed from the Massillon Public Library last year. That’s an 11 percent increase from 2017. The costs associated with eBooks and eAudiobooks are rising as well. Libraries are often required to pay several times the retail price and now may be forced to re-purchase popular titles every two years, or after several checkouts. The Massillon Public Library spent $53,593 in 2018 on eBooks and eAudiobooks, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.

We hope to reverse or modify these new policy changes by working with the publishers and authors, as well as library consortia, our state and national library associations, and other stakeholders. Please know that we will fight to provide the materials you want and need, and hate these new limitations more than anything! We will keep you updated on the situation.

Sherie Brown
Director, Massillon Public Library