State Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, said a bill approved Tuesday by the House of Representatives is a first step toward requiring publishers to offer electronic books, or e-books, for sale at a reasonable cost to libraries.
Passed by a unanimous vote, House Bill 5614 calls for the commissioner of Consumer Protection to conduct a study of the availability of e-books to users of public libraries.
“I would have liked to see this issue resolved this year, but publishers have concerns and the study will help us target those concerns,” Conroy said.
“We want to make sure libraries remain a hub of free information – whether on paper or on a Kindle.”
Through either purchases or donations, libraries for years have been able to acquire printed materials rather easily. As more and more reading content is being delivered digitally, however, libraries are struggling increasingly to obtain digital content.
The Connecticut Library Association says the problem is that some publishers are making it difficult for libraries to purchase e-books by imposing unfair restrictions, which include price gouging, lending restrictions and in some cases outright refusal to license e-books to libraries.
The e-book study now goes to the Senate for action.
This information is taken from a press release from Conroy's office.