The Board of Finance resisted supporting the purchase of e-books by the Monday even after Library Director Jean Tsang said she negotiated a 20 percent reduction in the cost.
Tsang appeared at the Board of Finance’s department budget hearing to present the library’s budget and request money for e-books. The library was one of 15 department budgets presented during the evening.
None was voted on. The board will discuss the presentations on Thursday and has scheduled a vote on March 7, both meetings to start at 6:30 p.m. at the .
that doesn’t have the increasingly popular technology. When Milford residents visit other libraries, they discover they limit e-book borrowing only to their town residents, a provision required by the companies that provide the e-books.
She said then the residents come to their own library and demand to know why e-books aren’t available here, too.
They are especially popular because a library patron can load hundreds of full-length books on his or her Kindle, Nook or iPad, eliminating the need to lug around a stack of heavy books.
But the Finance Board appeared unmoved. Member Joseph J. Fitzpatrick Jr. said if a person could afford an e-book reader, he can afford to buy the e-books and doesn’t need to borrow them from the library.
Tsang said she was able to negotiate a cost reduction from $10,000 to $8,000 a year for four years, and she noted that one day e-books would completely replace print books in libraries.
"This is the next generation, where we’re going in the future," she said.
As for now, the board members were more concerned about the print book collection. Tsang presented graphs showing that Milford lags behind the state averages for books per capita, juvenile books per capita, and town spending per capita.