September 25, 2021

Internet Archive News: "In-Library eBook Lending Program Expands to 1,000 Libraries"

Wow, talk about an impressive growth rate! From 150 participants in February to 1000 in June.

Congrats to Brewster K., Peter B., George O. and the entire IA team. Impressive work!

From an Internet Archive Blog Post:

[Saturday], the InternetArchive announced that the 1,000th library from 6 countries has joined its In-Library eBook Lending Program. Led by the InternetArchive, patrons may borrow eBooks from a new, cooperative 100,000+ 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 InternetArchive. “To grow from 150 great, forward-thinking libraries in Feb. 2011 to 1,000 libraries today, suggests that there is a true need for this type of program. We, as libraries,  want to buy eBooks to lend to our patrons.”

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 InternetArchive 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.

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Interesting to see that the State Library of Kansas (they’re working to terminate their contract with OverDrive) has joined the program.

From the Blog Post:

[Our Emphasis] Jo Budler, Kansas State Librarian, comments, “Kansas librarians are very excited about offering this downloadable service to the residents of Kansas.  Historically Kansas librarians have been strong supporters of collaborative endeavors.  This project fits very nicely with projects undertaken in the past, and with the desire to continue to offer excellent customer service and new services into the future.”

“Creating digital structures that support access to content through public libraries is imperative. The Digital In-Library Lending project is a beginning. California is delighted to be involved a project that will create more online access to content for Californians” said Californian State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.

John Oakes, founder of OR Books, said, “We’re always on the lookout for innovative solutions to solve the conundrum of contemporary publishing, and we are excited to learn about the InternetArchive’s latest project. For us, it’s a way to extend our reach to the crucial library market. We look forward to the results.”

Take a Look at Some of the Books Available to Users of Member Libraries

Directory/Map of Participating Libraries

How the In-Library eBook Lending Program Works

Graph: In-Library eBook Lending Program “Loans Per Day”

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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