By Fiona Cownie, Keele University
There appears to be an immensely shocking situation with regards to the e-books needed more than ever by both students and academics as a result of the pandemic. University librarians are reporting that very high prices are being charged for e-books (MUCH higher than print copies) making them unaffordable for most university libraries. This was covered in the Guardian on January 29th 2021, in an article entitled: ‘Price gouging from Covid’: student ebooks costing up to 500% more than in print’, which clearly articulates and reveals all the problems that university libraries are currently having to tackle.
Something has to be worked out to change the situation. Some university librarians have started a campaign, supported by an open letter which you can sign, asking the Government to investigate the e-book market. You can read about the campaign and sign the letter here: https://academicebookinvestigation.org/
Having read about the situation, I feel strongly that this is a campaign that all academics should be supporting. Talk to your librarian and find out how the situation is affecting you and your students.
I would urge you to sign the open letter and support the campaign: this is a time when we should definitely not stand idly by!