A New EPUB Reader For E-Books From the Library of Congress Open Access Books Collection
From a Library of Congress Blog Post:
The Open Access Books Collection on loc.gov includes approximately 6,000 contemporary open access e-books covering a wide range of subjects, including history, music, poetry, technology, and works of fiction. All books in this collection were published under open access licenses, meaning the e-books are available to use and reuse according to the terms of the licenses. Users can access the e-books in the Open Access Books Collection by reading directly online in a browser or downloading the book as a PDF or EPUB file.
So, why is an EPUB viewer important? First, it allows users to access the titles (nearly 900!) only available in EPUB format without requiring downloads. Among the first open access books available on the Library’s website were eleven new editions of classic works from Standard Ebooks, a project producing high quality open access editions of public domain classic books as EPUB files. These e-books were selected by the Library’s subject matter experts, cataloged by the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Section, and made available on loc.gov as EPUBs. Titles in this group include A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder and The Book of Tea. The EPUB viewer offers unique features that improve the reader experience, such as a bookmark feature that can be applied to multiple pages within the e-book and full-text searching.
Accessibility is an essential benefit EPUBs offer to users: the format has the capacity to support many features that ensure all users will be able to enjoy the e-books. EPUBs are compatible with screen reader technology and they allow for alt text for images in the e-book. The table of contents in an EPUB can serve as a navigation aid and structured metadata helps with navigation as well as discoverability. The 2017 EPUB Accessibility specification from IPDF outlines requirements for EPUBs to conform to accessibility standards. While not all EPUBs conform to these specifications, many publishers and creators are designing their EPUB e-books with these provisions in mind.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.