Subway riders in New York will now be able to read free ebooks. It’s all orchestrated by the city’s three main library systems. Good for them. They certainly have the funds to do it (especially the NYPL), and this is long overdue.
But allow me to add: Croatia Reads was the ultimate scenario of an open virtual library — a Free Reading Zone in the truest sense. What we pulled off in Croatia last December took the idea of an open virtual library and free access to books and knowledge to new heights. It was THE ULTIMATE scenario. Let us still strive for that scenario. Let us not forget that millions of people around the world do not have access to NYPL and do not live in affluent areas. We opened an entire country for reading, and the collection wasn’t limited to a small number of titles. It was vast and relevant. And it was bigger than libraries. Because ebooks transcend libraries. They transcend borders and time zones, too.
Still, kudos to New York. This is a step in the right direction.–Ed.
“We’re excited to announce the launch of Subway Library, a new initiative between The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library, the MTA, and Transit Wireless that provides subway riders in New York City with free access to hundreds of e-books, excerpts, and short stories—all ready to read on the train.
As part of the Subway Library celebration, don’t miss the specially wrapped “Library Train,” with the interior designed to look like NYPL’s Rose Main Reading Room! The train will alternate running on the E and F lines, running through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
How to Access the Subway Library
To access the Subway Library, MTA customers in underground subway stations can connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi through their network settings and click on the SubwayLibrary.com prompt to start reading from a large selection of titles for all ages. The site was developed with the same technology we used to create our free SimplyE e-reader app.”
Read more here.
OverDrive has just announced its plans to support public libraries in their efforts to cultivate more reading (and take advantage of the flexibility of the digital format) through Digital Book Clubs. Participating institutions include public libraries in cities like New York and London, among others.
According to recent numbers (from BookBrowse), 22 percent of readers belong to at least one digital Book Club with friends and family. Efforts by libraries and companies that support libraries to cultivate reading by taking advantage of all that the digital format has to offer are commendable on every level. They are, of course, especially impressive when they involve places and institutions other than the world’s most affluent cities and countries. If the below press release is any indication, our industry is well on its way to reaching (and creating) more readers regardless of their zip code. Continue reading Digital Book Clubs — the next chapter in the evolution of Book Clubs
Major publishers contribute thousands of titles to benefit students in need
February 24, 2016 – Open eBooks, a new initiative and e-reader app that will make thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available to children in need for free, is launching today. First Lady Michelle Obama is releasing a video today raising awareness of the new opportunity for children. The initiative is designed to address the challenge of providing digital reading materials to children living in low-income households, and offers unprecedented access to quality digital content, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million.
President Obama announced a nongovernmental eBooks effort in support of the ConnectED Initiative at the April 30 Kids Town Hall held by the White House at the Anacostia Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library. ConnectED is multi-pronged effort designed to provide all youth with access to high-quality digital learning tools. Since it launched, over 20 million more students have been connected to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries and millions more are taking advantage of its free private sector resources. Open eBooks complements the new digital infrastructure to provide an opportunity for kids in need to have a world-class eLibrary in their homes. Continue reading Open eBooks Opens World of Digital Reading to Children for Free
Fabulous post, and summary of the Digital Book World Conference thus far, from Eric Hellman. He reports on a panel discussion from DBW today, moderated by Josh Hadro at Library Journal. LJ has a great summary article of the discussion as well. The topic – why libraries belong in the eBook ecosystem. Panelists included OverDrive CEO, Steve Potash, New York Public Library Deputy Director Christopher Platt, and big 6 vice president, Random House Director of Account Marketing Ruth Liebmann. I followed some of the tweets today, which were great. You can see the stream at #dbwlibrary and #dbw11.
Some good reads out there in the blogosphere these last few weeks. Many of these are focused on the electronic textbook and/or implications of such. Additional articles include analysis on the library and bookstore of the future and a comical video about digital publishing and DRM.
As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections. Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge. Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?
It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is to act as a mobile storefront.
It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement. There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.
A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store. I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service. Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.
I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side. There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration. In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.
The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library. I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection. If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.