Missouri River, Daniel Boone regional libraries discontinue electronic media sharing

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri River and Daniel Boone Regional Libraries have changed their rules on electronic media sharing, effective Tuesday.

The libraries have what they call, reciprocal agreements, an agreement established between libraries to share resources. This is something that has been in effect for 18 years between Missouri River and Daniel Boone.

"We didn't have e-books, any audio, and the kind of digital materials we have now in 2019," said Claudia Cook, Director of Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City.

Both library directors established the agreement for borrowing digital material after noticing an up-tick in the amount of Callaway County cardholders utilizing a library outside of where their taxpayer money went.

Recently, Daniel Boone, based in Columbia, opened a branch in Callaway County. The director of Daniel Boone, Margaret Conroy, reached out to Cook and said the 345 Missouri River Regional library patrons using their digital resources was an expense they could no longer sustain.

"I understand they're expensive and they're popular," Cook said. "They're in such demand and they really need to keep those resources for their taxpaying cardholders."

Cook said e-books cost three times as much as the physical books she holds in her library. She also said publisher's don't make it easy to buy the amount of copies needed to meet the demand they have for digital items. Oftentimes, the e-books set a limit of checkouts for a book, and like physical books, there's only one copy to be had at a time.

"We need more money, to buy better titles, to have more access," Cook said. "That's just the way it is, plain and simple, it's about money."

The reciprocal agreement will still allow cardholders to check out physical items between both libraries.