No Shelf Required joins forces with ebook provider Odilo to launch a an open virtual library in Opatija, a major tourist draw on the Croatian Adriatic. Local university sponsors the free reading for tourists and residents within city limits; publishers from around the world participate.
September 27, 2017 — No Shelf Required is pleased to announce the launch of a new open virtual library in the Adriatic city of Opatija, known for its promenade, luxury hotels, and a long history of cultural and business tourism. Starting today, on World Tourism Day, Opatija becomes an open virtual library, called Opatija Reads, accessible to all people inside the city limits, without a library card or access code. The pilot is set to last for two weeks.
“At the core of the ‘open library ‘concept lies the belief that the power of technology to transform how books and knowledge reach us is profound. We can do with them what we have never been able to do with paper books,” said Mirela Roncevic, Director of No Shelf Required.”
“Technology has long been breaking down barriers, equalizing access to content and information, and connecting people. We have created an unbreakable relationship with it. Because of it, we read news freely, listen to music freely, even watch movies freely. Why should the book not be given the same chance to reach the widest audience possible?,” added Roncevic.
Both the app and the virtual library are supplied by ODILO, a Madrid-based company offering digital content and technology solutions for the education, business, government, and tourism markets. “ODILO is excited to be providing the technology and apps that power the delivery of eBooks and audiobooks to the city of Opatija, said Rodrigo Rodriguez, CEO of ODILO. This project aligns with the vision of our company to create and build smart cities one city at a time by providing digital access to culture, entertainment, and leisure content while at the same time increasing the touristic attractiveness of cities all over the world. Our publisher partners are a key part in making available the content ODILO is delivering in many languages as a part of this project. We look forward to working with them in the future on more creative and innovative projects of this kind.”
The two-week pilot follows in the footsteps of a previous project sponsored by No Shelf Required last December, Croatia Reads, when the entire country of Croatia became an open virtual library for one month.
In order to access the library, Opatija’s residents and tourists need to download the Opatija Reads app for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. They may also read online at opatijareads.odilotk.es.
The library features books in several languages, spans categories and genres, and even includes audiobooks.
[Note: The pilot lasted for two and a half weeks and was not renewed. The local government chose not to support it further.]