ALA President ‘Deeply Disappointed’ in Random House’s ‘Severe Escalation’ in Library eBook Prices

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

On March 1st, Random House announced that it is raising the price of its eBooks sold to libraries.

The American Library Association (ALA) is asking Random House to reconsider its decision. In a ALA president Molly Raphael released this statement: “While I appreciate Random House’s engagement with libraries and its commitment to perpetual access. I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically.”

eBookNewser has more: “In a statement last week, Random House said: ‘We believe that pricing to libraries must account for the higher value of this institutional model, which permits e-books to be repeatedly circulated without limitation. The library e-book and the lending privileges it allows enables many more readers to enjoy that copy than a typical consumer copy. Therefore, Random House believes it has greater value, and should be priced accordingly.'”

School Library Journal has the new price list:

  • Titles available in print as new hardcovers: $65- $85
  • Titles available for several months, or generally timed to paperback release: $25-$50
  • New children’s titles available in print as hardcovers: $35-$85
  • Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25-$45