In a free market, companies are free to set their prices. But we are free to seek a better deal – and we’ve found one. Instead of passively accepting what amounts to a 33% reduction in the purchasing power of the library, we’ll be extending our network of electronic publishers to include those who are more responsive to our needs and budgets.
We have now identified some 12 groups of publishers, comprising over 800 individual companies. We have purchased from them over 7,000 ebook titles, which are now available from our catalog. We are buying the titles at discount, and we actually own them. This model of distribution, created by Douglas County Libraries, is now being picked up by hundreds of libraries across the nation. And we’re signing up new publishers every day.
The best part of this Douglas County experiment I’ve seen so far has been this price comparison sheet (via No Shelf Required). Fifty Shades of Gray, for example, $50 for your local public library, $10 for you.