‘It’s going to become a bigger issue’: Why the State Library has limited access to E-books

Local News

North Dakotans have been keeping up with their reading habits through the State Library during the pandemic.

Many have been reading books without ever visiting the library using its E-book collection. State Librarian Mary Soucie says interest in E-books went up in the last year.

But, she says publishers have been making it more difficult for libraries to keep E-books in circulation, like the MacMillan Publisher’s embargo. It’s now lifted because of the pandemic.

Amazon, a company quickly growing in the publishing world, blocks libraries from lending its E-books at all. Soucie says it’s always been this way with Amazon, only allowing downloading on its Kindle devices.

The same thing goes for tens of thousands of audiobooks.

“Amazon is a huge player in the reseller marketplace for sure, and they are becoming a larger player in the publishing marketplace,” Soucie shared. “So if this continues down the road, and I’m talking a short road, I think it’s going to become a bigger issue.”

Soucie says Amazon and all publishing companies should be working with state and local libraries, places that allow people who can’t afford to buy books to be equally avid readers.

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