Saturday, January 24, 2009

SONY to Offer NetLibrary Collections

SONY and Netlibrary announce a collaboration that will enable library patrons to check-out an e-Reader and gain access to several Netlibrary e-Book collections. From the press release:

The program includes a Reader model PRS-505, a collection of titles from leading publishers and all required licenses. Using the library's PC, librarians can download a mobile collection title or titles from the NetLibrary site to the Reader as necessary.

Libraries that purchase Mobile Collections will be able to offer their patrons the ability to check out Readers for onsite or offsite use, depending on the policy established by each library. Collections, selected by NetLibrary's collections librarian, include Career Development and Business Self Help (30 titles), Management and Leadership (22 titles), Popular Fiction (29 titles), Romance (19 titles) and Young Adult Fiction (24 titles).

"OCLC member libraries have indicated a strong interest in providing a mobile device that library patrons can use to read eBooks on the go," said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. "The NetLibrary collections available with Sony's Reader Digital Book offer great variety for readers with different interests, and make it possible for library patrons to enjoy many eBooks on one portable device that offers state-of-the-art readability."

"Librarians have always been leaders in exposing their patrons to new technologies related to reading, research and learning," said Steve Haber, president of Sony's Digital Reading Business Division. "We are pleased to work with OCLC and its membership to further this cause."

Circulating Reader units through OCLC's newly established program is just one way libraries are able to offer eBooks to their communities and expose people to electronic reading. Thousands of public libraries in the United States already offer online collections that patrons can borrow, typically for two to three weeks. eBooks are offered in the Adobe PDF format and it is expected that the recently established EPUB format will become common.

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