We’re big fans of librarian entrepreneurs around here so first and foremost congratulations to Jason Griffey on today’s news and taking his idea for a useful and important device and making it happen.
If you’re not familiar with what a LibraryBox is, here’s how Griffey describes it:
LibraryBox is an inexpensive portable private digital distribution device, capable of delivering non-DRM digital files to any device with wifi and a browser, even in areas without Internet access.
To fund the development of LibraryBox 2.0 (plural, LibraryBoxen) Griffey launched a Kickstarter campaign last June as the ALA annual conference got underway.
In a matter of a few hours (literally) the $3,000 goal was met and passed.
Today, after two years of development LibraryBox 2.0 has arrived and goes on sale.
This is the first time that pre-built and tested LibraryBoxen (a this point Griffey builds and tests them himself) have been made available for sale. Of course, you can still build your own.
How Do You Get One?
Head to LibraryBox.us to purchase. They cost $150. The devices are scheduled to ship during March 2014. (Note: If the sales page isn’t live when you read this, check back later).
How are LibraryBox Being Used to this Point?
From the News Release:
Libraries and educators around the world are already using LibraryBox to deliver ebooks to children in rural Ghana, to bypass censorship of learning materials in China, and to share digital material on street corners in France. LibraryBox is currently being used in 17 US States, 17 countries, and on 6 continents to deliver digital information to users.
Direct to Map of Known LibraryBox Locations
Jason Griffey tells us that at this point LibraryBox is not turning a profit but of course the hope is that a profit will be coming soon. We hope so not only for Jason’s company but for the entire library community.
Given his name and reputation, LibraryBox as a successful profit-making business would hopefully motivate other librarians (or groups of librarians) and libraries to develop new products and businesses regardless of being a private company or a funded/sustainable non-profit.
The challenges for Griffey are many. Running any business is a huge challenge let alone one where you actual build and test the product.
Hopefully, with the library communities support (something that LibraryBox has already seen a lot) it will all go well.
One thing the community can help with is not only letting people know about the product and what it can do (it doesn’t need to be only in a traditional library environment) but also by discovering and sharing interesting and useful content (in some cases inaccessible using the open web) via a LibraryBox and then letting others know about what you’re sharing.
Direct to LibraryBox.us