Professional associations are digitizing their collections of journals and articles. They post them on the Internet making study reports, new conclusions, medical and scientific discoveries, and techniques available to academics and practitioners globally.
Public and university libraries began offering digital content for little or no cost two decades ago. For example, Yale University‘s libraries’ collections are digitized on a regular basis following guidelines established by a special task force.
They are digitizing to:
* Increase access
* Ensure preservation of rare books and manuscripts in print affected by age, damage, and theft
* Stimulate innovation and collaborative projects
* Enhance Yale’s leadership role among research institutions and outreach to scholars around the world
Greater Reader Access Thanks to Commercial Enterprises
Commercial enterprises also help stock libraries with ebooks. OverDrive, Inc. is an e-reader program developer and distributor. It is one of the most highly regarded companies for quality in the digital-content industry, leading all others in school and library digital distribution. OverDrive provides download fulfillment, digital-rights management, and secure management services for publishers, retailers, libraries, and schools. Outlets for their products include 30,000 libraries, schools, and colleges worldwide, making OverDrive the most popular e-book-library-lending system.
In March 2016, OverDrive announced that it is partnering with publishers like Britannica Digital Learning in the launch of QuickStart, a promotion of elementary school reading programs using ebook collections.
Others in the market are Askews and Holts (AH) and 3M Cloud Library. AH services libraries by fulfilling user requests in peak hours. With the backing of AH, libraries combine acquisition-purchase and rental options with effective and efficient management and financial operations. 3M Cloud Library is OverDrive’s most fearsome competitor, but that’s a good thing for readers because competition expands the quality and quantity of product and distribution locations. Users can put books on hold, get reminded about books already checked out, and retrieve a record of their reading history. Best of all, they can return books anytime with just a tap on the reader device screen.
Education for Rent
A plethora of apps offer textbook rental. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and smaller companies Campus Book Rentals and Book Renter make textbooks more affordable and accessible. The rental apps come with a dazzling array of features, including option to buy, light writing allowed, and option to sell.
CourseSmart has the world’s largest library of digitized textbooks and digital course materials. Its customers can read textbooks online or offline, on all types of e-readers and devices, and it also offers accessibility to those with vision or hearing impairments.
The availability of ebooks at libraries expands the role of libraries in public services and reinvents their mission in the digital age.