Collaborative Project Provides Moore County Library Patrons With Access To More Than 200,000 eBooks
North Carolina libraries, including Moore County Library, and NC LIVE have teamed up with San Francisco-based nonprofit Internet Archive on a project that gives library patrons free access to a large downloadable e-book collection.
The collaboration allows North Carolinians to check out and download more than 200,000 e-books published between 1923 and 1999 through Open Library, an e-book lending platform developed by Internet Archive.
In addition, more than 1 million public domain titles and a small collection of recently published titles are available.
In exchange for statewide access to the Open Library e-book collection, North Carolina libraries are contributing up to 10 books each to be scanned by Internet Archive, converted to a single digital copy, and added to the shared collection of e-books for checkout.
Most of the e-books currently available through the Open Library platform are digital scans of titles owned by hundreds of participating libraries around the country.
More than 100 North Carolina libraries, including Moore County Library, have already donated books that can be checked out to individuals around the world.
The staff at NC LIVE, the statewide consortium for electronic library resources that is coordinating the project, have seen libraries enthusiastically participate in the Open Library initiative.
"This project is an exciting example of the power of library partnerships," said Tim Rogers, executive director of NC LIVE. "By participating, libraries can offer their patrons significantly greater access to e-books, which are often very expensive for libraries, and in high demand."
North Carolina was the second state behind only California to provide statewide access to the e-book platform, and has since been followed by about a dozen other states. >
State Librarian Cal Shepard has worked to encourage North Carolina's 198 public and academic libraries to participate. Shepard hopes that all North Carolinians will find value in the expanded access to digital content.
"We're encouraging every library to contribute books," says Shepard. "The Open Library platform allows patrons to access digital copies of books that were never available to them before, and even features the DAISY e-book program, making them accessible for the visually impaired. Libraries can now obtain books for patrons on a much larger scale than was previously possible."
To use Open Library, patrons can visit local library websites, or www.nclive.org, and click "e-books," then select "Open Library." After creating a personal account, users can download up to five books at a time, for two weeks each.
Books can be read online in a Web browser, or downloaded and transferred to a compatible portable device, such as a Nook or Sony Reader. Patrons who choose to download and transfer e-books will first need to install Adobe Digital Editions (a free download available from: http://www.adobe. com/products/digitaleditions).
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