In response to SOLS budget cuts, we’ve received a number of “suggestions” (we’re keeping it polite here) to move to more digital resources. We appreciate the feedback. Keep it coming. We actually love digital resources and have several. But here are some important facts to consider:
– E-books are often more expensive than print for libraries to purchase (sometimes 2 or 3 times as much!). Not an economically viable solution. And a VERY different process from someone purchasing a personal copy for their own device.
– Not all books are available digitally. And ones that are free or inexpensive are often older titles that have entered public domain. Still great, but we find that people also insist on literature from the last decade. They’re crazy like that. And then you get into the cost issue again (see above).
– What we are really purchasing is a license that transfers with the user (in other words, these titles can only be read by one person at a time, same as paper – some of our most popular titles have a waitlist of over 6 MONTHS!).
– Many of our users are not technologically savvy and/or cannot afford to have internet at home. We simply cannot and WILL NOT exclude such a large percentage of our patrons. Everyone should have the right to read. And yes, we believe that’s a right, not a luxury. Hope you do, too.