The American Library Association has denounced publisher Hachette for an impending price hike that would more than triple the cost of backlisted ebook titles. In a statement, ALA President Maureen Sullivan said the group was "weary of faltering half steps" and would be pursuing a more aggressive strategy to get ebooks into libraries at a reasonable price in light of the change. According to documents posted on infodocket earlier this week, the average price of backlisted books (those from 2010 or earlier) is set to jump by 220 percent in October. Hachette has responded, saying that the new prices "fairly reflect the value to the library customer" since ebooks will not need to be replaced at the same rate as physical books.
While ebooks are an integral part of most library catalogs, publishers and librarians frequently clash over how much digital media should cost and how it should be lent. Earlier this year, Penguin pulled out of an agreement with online lending system OverDrive, and Hachette has only recently started offering new titles to libraries as part of a pilot program.