Open eBooks Reaches 1 Million Books Read

Open eBooks Reaches 1 Million Books Read
December 15, 2016 Susan Morrissey

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Adds New Titles from Open Road, Makes Web Catalog Available

December 15, 2016 — Ten months after its February 2016 launch, Open eBooks has circulated over 1 million books to kids in need through its app. Open eBooks is used in schools, libraries and out-of-school programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and and on U.S. military bases.

Readers now have even more choices with the addition of over 250 titles from publisher Open Road Integrated Media . “Open Road’s founding mission to preserve the legacy of great writers is motivated by a passionate belief in the transformative power of reading, so it means a great deal to us to partner with Open eBooks in their endeavor to empower children in need by giving them access to as many books as possible,” said Open Road Integrated Media Executive Vice President, Publisher Tina Pohlman. New titles now available from Open Road include works from authors Sherman Alexie, Tariq Ali, Caroline Cooney and selections from beloved series
like The Berenstain Bears and Franklin the Turtle.

Open eBooks continues to grow its catalog of thousands of popular and award-winning titles, with commitments for additional titles from Candlewick, Hachette, Macmillan, Bloomsbury, and Lee & Low joining publishers HarperCollins, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Cricket.

Supplementing the publisher content available in the Open eBooks collection is a growing selection of public domain titles. The DPLA Curation Corps of school and youth librarians built a collection of over 250 timeless children’s favorites, such as Anne of Green Gables, The Wind in the Willows, and Black Beauty. These eBook files were donated by the Basque Government, Standard eBooks, and GITenberg, and feature artwork from crowdsourced cover art project, Recovering the Classics.

The Open eBooks site will also feature a web catalog, enabling users with or without a login to explore the growing list of Open eBooks content. Readers who do have Open eBooks accounts can sign in and send eBooks to their devices, which will download as soon as the device is connected to the Internet. Through the catalog users will also be able to explore the Instant Classics library that includes free openly licensed books for all readers to download on a desktop or mobile device.

Goals for the next year of the Open eBooks initiative aim to increase access to the program, including device expansion to Kindle Fire and Chromebook, and building the availability of eBooks open to all users regardless of income.

Since its launch, Open eBooks has made a meaningful difference in the lives of children across the country, especially those in under-resourced homes. “My parents were awed that their children can now access a plethora of books for free, at the tip of their fingers, from home. Being that they live in an extremely low socioeconomic urban neighborhood, where access is limited, they were incredibly grateful for this app,” said one educator in a First Book user survey.

Open eBooks joins other programs in supporting the White House’s ConnectED initiative, with private and nonprofit commitments working toward a shared goal of enriching K-12 education for every student in America.

Open eBooks is a coalition of literacy, library, publishing and technology partners: founding nonprofit partners the Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, and First Book; educational technology company Clever; and content support provided by digital books distributor Baker & Taylor. Open eBooks is not a government program; elements of the project have been supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the generous contributions of the publishers and partners.

Information and updates on the initiative will be shared on the Open eBooks website and on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Digital Public Library of America
Launched in April 2013, the Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. Connecting digital collections of a growing network of the nation’s libraries, archives, and museums, the DPLA provides access
to this collection, free to all, through its website and API. Learn more about the DPLA by watching this brief video or by visiting dp.la.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and
more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding.

About First Book
First Book is a non-profit social enterprise that has distributed more than 150 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children in need throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis to its network of educators and program leaders, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook or Twitter.

About Clever
Clever is the platform that powers technology in the classroom. Founded in 2012 by educators and technologists who knew that widely available educational apps could improve both teaching and learning, but that tools to deploy and secure the applications were simply unavailable. Today, one in three innovative
K-12 schools in the U.S. trust Clever to secure their student data as they adopt learning apps in the classroom. In 2014, Clever won the ‘Crystal Clear’ award by the Digital Innovation Learning Awards. It is also the trusted provider of the American Federation of Teachers, who uses Clever to secure its own ‘Share my Lesson’ platform with its teacher members. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Partners, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and GSV Capital, Clever currently has 100 employees and is based in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.clever.com.

About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor is the premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products from approximately 25,000 suppliers to over 20,000 customers in 120 countries. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. For more information, visit www.baker-taylor.com.

About Open Road
Open Road Integrated Media is a prestige content brand delivering digital experiences that entertain and inform readers around the world; their network of digital properties produces compelling stories that keep audiences engaged—across devices and around the world. The Open Road brands include Early Bird Books, a daily ebook deals newsletter and website; The Lineup, the premier digital destination for fans of true crime, horror, the mysterious, and the paranormal; The Portalist, an online community for fans of science fiction, fantasy, and genre-related pop culture news; and Open Road Media, a global ebook publisher whose catalog includes legendary authors such as William Styron, Alice Walker, Pat Conroy, Gloria Steinem, Octavia Butler, John Jakes, Pearl S. Buck, Walker Percy, Ruth Rendell, and Sherman Alexie.

Press Contacts
info@openebooks.net

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