NEWS

Toronto library system halts controversial book-buying program

03/24/2015 05:08 EDT | Updated 05/24/2015 05:59 EDT
The Toronto Public Library is ending a pilot program that drew the ire of authors and publishers.

The "Sell Books to the Library" program saw the city's library system purchase copies of selected, popular books from the public for $5, in order to boost holdings and reduce wait-times for library patrons.

It was considered controversial because of what the library describes as its "potential financial impact" on writers and publishers. The Writers' Union of Canada says the titles purchased this way would not see any royalties sent to authors.

Following a library board meeting on Monday night, the library system will be concluding the program as of the end of this month.

The library says the project was launched to test out the concept of buying books from the public. But a report would later conclude that the copies that had been purchased "did not impact wait times for popular books."

Between the start of the program in December and the end of February, the library purchased 127 books at a cost of $635.

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