No Shelf Required joins forces with ebook provider Odilo to launch a FREE READING ZONE 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 FREE READING ZONE under its leadership 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. To celebrate this milestone, the city is enveloped with flags bearing teal flags and featuring quotes about the importance of reading and access to books.
“At the core of the FREE READING ZONE Project 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. “The city of Opatija today stands as an inspiration to other tourist destinations, because it shows that the tourism industry can be transformed through technology,” added Roncevic.
“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 FREE READING ZONE project sponsored and orchestrated by No Shelf Required last December, Croatia Reads, when the entire country of Croatia became an open virtual library for one month. Since launching the project, No Shelf Required has grown from a portal advocating the power of econtent and ebooks to democratize access to books and education to an organization orchestrating free reading zones through partnerships with companies like Odilo and organizations like University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Management, the main sponsor of Opatija Reads.
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.
About No Shelf Required
No Shelf Required, LLC, is a privately held company on a mission to launch and orchestrate free reading zones around the world, as small as single buildings and as large as entire countries. No Shelf Required launched in 2008 as a blog advocating the power of ebooks to transform libraries. It then evolved into a portal advocating the power of ebooks and econtent to transform the world. Today it is an organization not only advocating that power through informed journalism on its web site but also through its management of free reading zones. To learn more, visit www.noshelfrequired.com.
ODILO, a privately held Spain and USA-based company, was founded in 2011. With millions of end-users worldwide, ODILO offers digital content and technology solutions for the education, library, business, government, tourism, and hospitality markets. ODILO is headquartered in Madrid, Spain, with offices in Cartagena (Spain), Denver (CO), Mexico City (Mexico), and New York City (NY). To learn more, visit www.odilo.us.