Libraries in Surrey struggling to provide e-books
COPYRIGHT laws and reluctant publishers are preventing libraries from providing e-books to customers.
Titles such as publishing sensation Fifty Shades Of Grey are not being made available to local libraries via e-book as publishers are unwilling to give them the lending rights.
Surrey Library Service's Helen Leech says publishers do not know how to handle the influx of e-book library customers and are scared of copyright infringements.
"There have been an awful lot of problems with e-books, with publishers struggling to come up with a business model," she said. "They can see it's going to change the way they'll deliver books but they can't figure out how to protect their business."
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More than half the libraries in the country now offer an e-book service, but many, including Redhill, are unable to offer the books their customers want.
Publishers have been unwilling to provide their latest titles because they fear they could be digitally copied once downloaded and distributed to the public.
There is also some confusion over the different settings of books that can be read on e-readers and tablets.
Under Digital Rights Management laws, publishers own the rights to how digital content is used.
But libraries have urged publishers to work closer to find a solution to this problem.
Jacqueline Camm-Jones, who has been manager at Redhill library for six years, said: "It would be a more popular service if we had a broader catalogue but we're struggling because we can't get the publishers to let people put them onto e-readers."
A spokesman for The Publishers Association said: "E-lending policies are new, complex and rapidly evolving.
"Publishers are working with libraries to create a sustainable model of e-book lending in libraries which can satisfy the needs of all parties involved."