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Toronto Public Library adds Kobo to retail partners

The Toronto Public Library has expanded its retail affiliate program to include digital titles from Kobo.

Patrons can now purchase ebooks directly from Kobo through linked pages on torontopubliclibrary.ca. For each ebook purchased, TPL receives a portion of sales, which goes toward funding special collections and services.

In March, TPL launched an affiliate program for print books with Indigo Books & Music. According to TPL communications spokesperson Ana-Maria Critchley, 509 items have been purchased to date. Although the idea of libraries selling books is controversial, Critchley says social-media response has been largely positive and no formal complaints have been filed.

TPL is the only library in Canada that currently supports bookselling. Future plans for the program, which will be evaluated in a year, include a partnership with Victoria’s AbeBooks.

In the June issue of Q&Q, Vancouver librarians Shirley Lew and Baharak Yousef argue that libraries should get directly into the business of selling books. Read the guest opinion piece here.