REGINA -- The Regina Public Library (RPL) is frustrated with the increase in costs and restrictions some big publishers are putting on eBooks and eAudiobooks.

According to the RPL, the cost to order an eBook has continued to increase over the years to “unsustainable levels” along with limited use of the materials.

The RPL says the average price for print materials is about $20 per item, while eBooks average $65 an item plus a limited use time of about two years.

“Libraries have been struggling to make ends meet and the pricing structure for our eBooks and eAudiobooks is just getting worse and worse over the years,” said Geoffrey Allen, Manager of Collections at RPL. “No matter how hard we try to implore with publishers and tell them that library users go out and buy lots of books as well, they keep worrying that somehow libraries are digging into [publishers] profits and [the publishers] keep raising prices.”

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere is one of 116 city and county leaders from across Canada and the United States supporting libraries by signing a statement on the Urban Libraries Council’s website.

The statement is pushing major publishers to make public access to eBooks equitable so libraries can fulfill their core functions.

More information can be found here.