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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Should libraries charge for e-books? (UK)

A proposal for libraries to charge for e-books will be considered by the government, as part of a wider review into lending. The idea was put forward by Justin Tomlinson, a Conservative backbench MP, who warned that the future was bleak for town hall libraries without radical action. He said that 94 local authorities offered e-books, but told ministers they had little stock because the big six publishers would not release the books. That was, primarily, because the private label rights (PLR) arrangement which gives publishers and authors 6p every time a physical book is lent out does not apply to e-books. Yet e-books were clearly the future, with sales up a staggering 366% in 2011 - while physical book sales, in the first half of last year, plunged to a ten-year low - Informed Communications

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