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E-book prices: Way too high

New data from the Urban Libraries Council show the outrageous prices libraries have to pay publishers for e-books.

They just published a two-page report on the subject, noting that none of the six largest publishers sell or license e-books for public libraries to access in the same way we do print books. "Three have adopted pricing policies that make e-books more expensive than print editions," the Council notes, even though the materials cost to publish an e-book is near zero.

The Council gives an example, the price to buy Justin Cronin's "The Twelve." Print edition: $15.51. E-book cost on Amazon: $9.99. Cost to library: $84.

The Council's conclusion is dead-on: "Publishers' inequitable practices hurt the communities and constituents who depend on their public libraries to provide unrestricted access to information."

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