v.21 #5 Libraries’ Changing Buying Habits: So Many Books, So Little Money

by Narda Tafuri (Acquisitions & Continuing Resources Librarian, The University of Scranton, Weinberg Memorial Library, Scranton, PA 18510; Phone: 570-941-7811; Fax: 570-941-7809) tafurin1@scranton.edu

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University presses and libraries have begun to release rare and not so rare public domain books from their vaults and shelves and make them available through print-on-demand (POD) for well below the average cost of a U.S. College Book ($64.52 in 2008). (1) As of Aug. 2, 2009, Cornell University Library had 18,231 printed books available for sale through Amazon.com; University of Michigan Library had 42,713 available. (2) Library Journal (3) stated that the University of Michigan Library, through an agreement with BookSurge, an Amazon.com affiliate, intends to make more than 400,000 POD titles available, while Cornell University Library plans to offer a mere 80K.

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