December 2, 2020

Internet Archive's Open Library Launches In-Library eBook Lending Program, More than 80,000 Titles Available

The OpenLibrary (an initiative of the Internet Archive) continues to not only be a first-rate resouce to search, find, and access e-books for free.  They’re also an innovative organization not afraid to try new idea. Today’s announcement is the first we’ve seen from Open Library specifically for users of libraries from around the U.S. how have partnered with the IA/Open Library.

From a Post on the Internet Archive Blog:

Today, 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.”

This new digital lending system will enable patrons of participating libraries to read books in a web browser.

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.

The blog post continues with a few comments from the leaders of two library partners.

Here are a few of the titles available in this new collection of e-books.

Direct to a List of Participating Libraries (as of February 22, 2011)

More Info in this Open Library Blog Post
It also includes some current stats about the OL:

In the last 28 days (at time of writing), we’ve had:

  • 5,794,587 unique visitors,
  • 14,219 new members sign up,
  • 39,939 edits to the catalog,
  • 990 new lists created, and
  • 3,340 eBooks borrowed.

See Also: If you’re not a member of a participating the Open Library is a great place to spend some time. Over one million unrestricted and free ebook are available along with several useful search features.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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