Libraries not only across the state but the country have been struggling to keep up with the demand for e-content because of the limited number of checkouts and high costs.

“If a regular person off the street just goes into an Amazon and buy something for $15 and it costs the library $60, that’s why it’s getting harder and harder for us to even meet the demand of our users,” said Utica Public Library Director Chris Sagaas.

Sagaas says last year, the library spent $5,000 on e-content; this year, he says that number is going to jump to $15,000. He says it’s the limited number of check-outs and the cost that’s affecting them.

“Let’s say you buy 26 total circulations of the e-content, that book or the downloadable audio. After 26 check-outs, you lose the access to the digital rights for it. You then have to re-purchase that title again,” Sagaas said.

Sagaas says this has been an ongoing battle between the libraries and the publishers.

“There is a bill in the New York State Legislature right now to address this. Year after year, we try to say 'look, this is about expanding access to your titles for publishers; authors are still getting exposure,' ” Sagaas said.

A popular book, "The Women" by Kristin Hannah, currently has a hold of 239 copies for the digital content.

“So the print copy of Kristin Hannah’s book cost us about $30 per copy, the e-content copy is twice that amount," Sagaas said. "So if we have to re-purchase that every 25 times that it circulates, that’s 10 more times just to fill the current holds, we’re going to be spending over $600 on that title.”

"We are trying to look and find out what the way is to resolve this situation, because it really is untenable the way it currently exists and it has been for quite some time," said Max Prime, the director of government relations and advocacy for the New York Library Association.

“What we would like to see is a much more fair pricing model for these materials,” Sagaas said.