Last week a report into e-book lending by UK libraries concluded that investment in such a service would harm book sales and hit author revenue.

Overdrive, the company behind most digital content in libraries has hit back pointing to an earlier study that suggested e-book lending actually boosts sales.

A survey carried out in association with the American Libraries Association in 2012 found that “borrowers are also buyers,” and the Big Library Read, a recurring program in which a single eBook title is made available for simultaneous use across thousands of library websites, reinforced the findings.

Tim Godfray, CEO of the Booksellers Association remained unconvinced: “There are serious ramifications that we believe e-book lending will have on our bookshops, not to mention the potential reduction of people visiting libraries.”

Overdrive dismissed his fears: “Our data indicates that, to the contrary, e-Lending has resulted in a net increase in the number of library users by reaching those in the community that haven’t used the library in years, if at all.”

If remote e-lending is dismissed, Overdrive stands to lose money, for now both sides look unlikely to agree.