Poll Results: Libraries Should Lend E-books, But Few Have Borrowed

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Shortly after the UK Publishers Association announced stricter guidelines for library lending (geographic restrictions and a ban on remote lending), we asked our readers what they thought of library e-book lending. Should libraries loan e-books?

The large majority of poll-takers, 81%, said that libraries should loan e-books, despite arguments that lending e-books could lead to more piracy. Only 7% of those polled said libraries should not loan e-books, and 12% said that libraries should charge a fee for loaning e-books.

In an additional poll, we asked whether our readers had ever checked out an e-book from a library. Although many people had strong feelings regarding whether libraries should loan e-books, only 28% of poll-takers reported ever having checked out an e-book from a library. Another 47% had not borrowed an e-book but planned to do so in the future, and 25% said they had no intention of borrowing an e-book.

Below are the poll results:

Should libraries lend e-books?

  • Yes, libraries should be able to lend e-books (81%, 95 Votes)
  • Yes, but libraries should charge a fee for each e-book loan (12%, 14 Votes)
  • No, libraries should not lend e-books (7%, 9 Votes)

Have you ever checked out an e-book from a library?

  • No, but I plan to (47%, 45 Votes)
  • No, and I don’t plan to (25%, 24 Votes)
  • Yes, it was awesome! (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Yes, it was ok (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Yes, it was lame (4%, 4 Votes)
About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.