Garfield County Libraries, e-books and the future |

Garfield County Libraries, e-books and the future

Kelsy Been
Garfield Public Libraries
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

There is a common misconception that e-books pose a risk to the future of libraries. To the contrary, for libraries, e-books are an exciting new medium to offer free resources to the public.

Garfield County Libraries wants to inform its e-reading patrons of the resources currently offered, as well as explain why Garfield County Libraries, and libraries all over the world, cannot currently provide access to all of the titles in demand.

Garfield County Libraries offers a variety of e-book services and resources for its e-reading patrons. First and foremost, Garfield County Libraries provides its cardholders access to library e-books for free. If you’re a beginner, bring in your device and library staff will help you check out a library e-book and use your e-reading device.

Short on time? All Garfield County Library branches are offering drop-in “how to” programs to help people learn how to use their new devices this holiday season.

For those who want to go it alone, Garfield County Libraries has created a section on its website to help people navigate their e-reading devices at

Many of our patrons are aware of these resources, have perused Garfield County Libraries’ e-book collection, and felt discouraged by an overall lack of availability. Garfield County Libraries is working hard to meet the e-book demand, but we are very limited by the titles available for sale.

Currently, four of the six main publishing companies will not sell their books to libraries. Of the 25 titles on Oct. 25’s USA Today’s Bestselling Books, 19 are not available to libraries as e-books.

To add to this challenge, the two publishers that will sell e-books to libraries have changed the terms.

One publisher allows libraries to buy an e-book, but that copy is limited to 26 checkouts. On the 27th checkout, the library has to repurchase the title. Another publisher has dramatically increased the cost of e-books to libraries.

While an individual can purchase an e-book copy of “The Twelve” for $13 from Amazon, the library’s e-book copy costs $84 from the publisher. However, print copies of the same title are priced nearly identically for both parties.

This situation is frustrating for everyone, but progress is being made.

Douglas County Libraries, a pioneer in navigating the e-book world for libraries, has developed a new distribution model for libraries by identifying a dozen or so groups of publishers that are willing to sell e-book titles without restrictions and at reasonable prices directly to libraries.

Garfield County Libraries’ Marmot Library Network is working on similar agreements using this model, with the intention of purchasing hundreds more in 2013. Garfield County Libraries hopes to continuously increase the number of free e-resources available to you, and thanks you for your support and patience.

As part of the Rifle Holly Days festivities, the Rifle Branch Library will be hosting holiday fun for kids, including Christmas crafts, treats, and horse drawn buggy rides to Centennial Park to help decorate a special tree for the tree lighting ceremony. Join us at the Rifle Branch Library from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and get into the Christmas spirit.

Santa Claus is coming to town on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and will make a stop at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library. Toddlers through children in fifth grade and their accompanying adults are invited to come to the library at 4 p.m. to make a gingerbread house and to meet Santa Claus at 4:30 p.m.

All materials will be provided, but please bring your own camera. For more information, call the library at 945-5958.

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