A tightened economy and higher demand for bestsellers has left many libraries with near-empty shelves. Social media and the internet have allowed consumers to share information more than ever, and discovering a new book is done with just a few clicks. As such, the demand readers place on retailers and library management systems has increased exponentially.
Readers expect a book to be in stock when and where they want to buy or borrow it. While that's great for retailers and publishers, it puts a bit of a burden on libraries, especially those without a lot of resources. This has led many libraries to explore the options of book leasing. While it may seem like a viable option, it's actually not a great economical decision, and here's why.
Book leasing programs have been around for 30 years, and many library managers hoping to fill their shelves quickly with bestsellers have been wondering if a leasing program is the right option. Here's how the leasing program works:
It sounds like it could be a wonderful alternative for many libraries, and for some, it is. However, it's actually not an economical one. In fact, it costs more to lease a book than it does to buy one. Lease program prices average about $5,500 annually for a rotating catalog of 300 books. That totals a little more than $18 per book. The average price for a library to buy a book is $15 to $16. So leasing a book ends up costing you about 15% more overall.
Furthermore, there are several conditions that the lease terms don't outwardly disclose. Books are not allowed to be loaned to other libraries or reserved. They also cannot be checked out for longer than two weeks. This is understandable, as it's meant to keep books readily available for locals only. However, it might also be a bad thing, as it may turn away many readers.
One of the biggest draws for librarians exploring the option of leasing is the collection development assistant. Perhaps that’s where the $2 extra per book comes in – you're paying for the service. Because books are curated by professionals, it removes some of the hard work of building a collection. The books come shelf-ready, so they can get out of the box and into readers' hands fast, another thing librarians love about the lease program. When you're done with the books, you simply return them and the leasing company takes care of the rest. Here's something you may not know: Ingram's library distribution services does all of this too.
Ingram Library Services offers all the benefits of a leasing program without the commitment. We developed this service as an alternative to leasing. We help you design a custom plan that's tailored to your needs and budget. Here's how:
Our goal when creating this program was to help libraries build their collections in a way that's simple and sustainable. Aside from building a plan around your budget, we also assist you with surplus removal. We'll take care of your books once they get old or demand falls off, whether we take them for recycling or help you sell them. Our library services are quickly becoming the best option for filling your shelves at a price that's right.
Our library services are built on more than 50 years of experience and with a deep passion for books. To learn more about our services, visit Ingramcontent.com/libraries today.