January 18, 2022

BrainHive to Offer Schools Pay-As-You-Go Access to Ebooks

From a SLJ Article:

The program, currently being beta tested in 20 schools, is expected to launch this fall and give school librarians access to more than 3,000 fiction and nonfiction titles from publishers such as Random House Children’s Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, and the Lerner Publishing Group, and include such titles as Mousetraps (Carolrhoda, 2008) to I Want to Do It Myself! (Anderson Press, 2011)

Membership to the Minneapolis-based service is free and schools only pay $1 per ebook when a student or teacher checks it out. The BrainHive account administrator—typically the librarian or principal—can delete any title from the collection at any time and add titles to create a custom collection that’s accessible only to individual students or groups. And there’s no need to worry about multiple users-each ebooks can be checked out simultaneously.

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What’s also important to note here is that we will likely be seeing more of these types of services* along with Netflix-model subscription services for all types of ebooks (not only material for children) in the not so distant future.

Today, Kindle’s Online Lending Library (KOLL) program offers only a single title per month/per user but we believe it’s likely the service will increase the total number of items available to a user at one time. There are no wait-lists for titles available from Amazon.

Amazon continues to rapidly ramp up both book content (from 5100 to 150,000 KOLL titles in about six months) and streaming video content available 24/7/365 as part of  the Amazon Prime service. Even if Amazon.com charges more for more titles, it’s something libraries need to be prepared for.  We continue to wonder why not much about this distinct possibility is not being discussed.

* Two examples of on-demand ebooks for a monthly already available are Safari Books Online from O’Reilly Publishing (tech books) and the Artist’s Network Members eBook Club from F&W Media.

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.