April 1 –April 30, 2024


eBook and Audiobook Access Issues

Wondering why you can’t borrow more eBooks and Audiobooks from your public library?

So are we.

And we need your help to fix it.

The issue with Digital Audiobook access.

Demand for Audiobooks is skyrocketing, but major multinational publishers aren’t making a number of best-selling titles available to Canadian public libraries – including some prominent Canadian and Indigenous works.

We want to share as many stories and ideas as possible in the formats you want. But in order for this to happen, the multinational publishers need to work directly with our libraries to make all titles available.

Book cover of the Handmaid's Tale with image of woman in red dress with white bonnet on black cover.
Book cover for 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act with red and black font on cream coloured background.

Libraries can’t afford to keep paying these prices.

Another issue libraries face is excessively high prices and restrictive purchasing models for Audiobooks and eBooks. Libraries lend digital copies just like physical books — on a one-to-one basis. But the prices we pay for digital copies are exponentially higher.

Book cover for Stephen King's You Like it Darker with an image of a rocky cliff that looks like an alligator over the water.

Stephen King's You Like it Darker

Print - $39
Library discounted price - $23.19
Audiobook on CD - $44.07
Audiobook - $176.06 (24 months)
eBook - $83.99 (24 months)

Book cover for The Women. Cover is red and has an image of helicopter flying over palm trees.

Kristin Hannah's The Women

Print - $40
Library discounted price - $23.20
Audiobook on CD - $60
Audiobook - $77.99
eBook - $80 (24 months)

David Baldacci's The Edge

Print - $38
Library discounted price – $22.04
Audiobook on CD - $63
Audiobook - $99 (24 months)
eBook - $99 (24 months)

Everyone will benefit from better access and pricing for libraries.

Libraries are crucial to creating a vibrant publishing industry in Canada. We’re constantly introducing Canadians to new titles and authors, directly influencing potential customers and fuelling sales outside the library.

Just as importantly, our libraries have significant purchasing power — but that only matters if we can buy the content our users want.

What can you do? Ask your local library about how you can add your voice and ask for better access to ebooks.