The Brooklyn Public Library has inked a deal with Simon & Schuster to make the publisher’s complete collection of electronic books available at branch libraries, in which BPL will then get a 2% cut of profits from each book sold.
The money raised is being eyed as a way to help fund the more than $250 million in overdue repairs needed at Brooklyn libraries—including, of course, Brooklyn Heights’ Cadman Plaza outpost, which is facing a potential sale and relocation.
Charlene Rue, BPL’s director of collection development, told the New York Daily News, “This is a step in the right direction. We are thrilled to be working with one of the big publishers. That means there’s more availability of titles for our general public to choose from.”
The Brooklyn Public Library currently spends about $150,000 a year on e-books, a small percentage of its $5.6 million budget for new items. Those figures could change as more readers go the digital route. Now, if the traditional print version of a title is checked out, patrons will be asked if they would like to buy a copy of any e-book that is already checked out. Under the pilot program, BPL will offer unlimited checkouts of individual e-books for a year. They can only be checked out by one patron at a time.
The plan will expand to Manhattan at the end of April, and later in Queens, according to the Daily News.