Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Innovative New eBook Service Live at 50 Libraries

The American Library Association Conference -- Library Ideas, LLC, a media company delivering digital solutions to libraries, today announced its new eBook service is live at more than 50 libraries. Library Ideas has a network of thousands of libraries worldwide that subscribe to its digital products.

The new service, called Freading™ immediately increases the size and diversity of library eBook collections by allowing them access to a collection of tens of thousands of titles without any upfront cost. The innovative business model allows libraries to pay a per use fee instead of a purchasing an item of unknown desirability. Freading charges no platform or access fees, and has tools to allow libraries to control their spending over the course of a budget year. Participating libraries and patrons will have simultaneous access to titles without buying multiple copies. Participating publishers and authors will get more of their titles onto library websites, and get paid for each transaction. Freading apps are available on the iOS and Android platforms, and work on all major device families.

Libraries live with the service include the Orange County Public Library System (FL), The Edmonton Public Library (AL), the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library (WI), The Westport Public Library (CT) and the Paris Public Library (TX).

Over 40 publishers are supplying content to the service, including Sterling Publishing, Sourcebooks, Andrews McMeel and Regnery Publishing. Library Ideas is in discussions with many publishers, and intends to expand the content on a continual basis.

"So many libraries have only a collection of 1,000 to 5,000 eBook titles," said Brian Downing, the co-founder of Library Ideas, LLC. "And often, those titles are not available to the end user. Our collection would cost libraries over $400,000 if they bought the titles like they are being asked to do now. With Freading, they can access it for no upfront cost."

"We are always looking for ways to increase our patron's access to library materials," said Mary Anne Hodel, Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Public Library System in Orlando, Florida. "Freading increases our access to eBooks at a reasonable cost."