Internet Archive and Library Partners Develop Joint Collection of 80,000+ eBooks
To Extend Traditional In-Library Lending Model
San Francisco, CA – A group of libraries led by the Internet Archive announced a new, cooperative 80,000+ eBook lending collection of mostly 20th century books on OpenLibrary.org, a site where it’s already possible to read over 1 million eBooks without restriction. During a library visit, patrons with an OpenLibrary.org account can borrow any of these lendable eBooks using laptops, reading devices or library computers. This new twist on the traditional lending model could increase eBook use and revenue for publishers.
“As readers go digital, so are our libraries,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “It’s fabulous to work with such a great group of 150 forward-thinking libraries.” (See the list of participating libraries below.)
This new digital lending system will enable patrons of participating libraries to read books in a web browser. “In Silicon Valley, iPads and other reading devices are hugely popular. Our partnership with the Internet Archive and OpenLibrary.org is crucial to achieving our mission – to meet the reading needs of our library visitors and our community,” said Linda Crowe, Executive Director of the Peninsula Library System.
A recent survey of libraries across North America was conducted by Unisphere Research and Information Today, Inc. (ITI). It reported that of the 1,201 libraries canvassed, 73% are seeing increased demand for digital resources with 67% reporting increased demand for wireless access and 62% seeing a surge in demand for web access.
American libraries spend $3-4 billion each year on publishers’ products. “I’m not suggesting we spend less, I am suggesting we spend smarter by buying and lending more eBooks,” asserts Kahle. He is also encouraging libraries worldwide to join in the expansion of this pool of purchased and digitized eBooks so their patrons can borrow from this larger collection.
How it Works
Any OpenLibrary.org account holder can borrow up to 5 eBooks at a time, for up to 2 weeks. Books can only be borrowed by one person at a time. People can choose to borrow either an in-browser version (viewed using the Internet Archive’s BookReader web application), or a PDF or ePub version, managed by the free Adobe Digital Editions software. This new technology follows the lead of the Google eBookstore, which sells books from many publishers to be read using Google’s books-in-browsers technology. Readers can use laptops, library computers and tablet devices including the iPad