200,000 Free eBooks Made Available to North Carolinians with Collaborative Library Project

North Carolina libraries and NC LIVE have teamed up with San Francisco-based non-profit, Internet Archive, on a project that gives library patrons free access to a large downloadable eBook collection.
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June 19, 2012 - PRLog -- North Carolina libraries and NC LIVE have teamed up with San Francisco-based non-profit, Internet Archive, on a project that gives library patrons free access to a large downloadable eBook collection.

The collaboration, which began in November 2011, allows North Carolinians to check out and download more than 200,000 eBooks published between 1923 and 1999 through Open Library, an eBook lending platform developed by Internet Archive. In addition, more than one million public domain titles, and a small collection of recently published titles are available.

In exchange for statewide access to the Open Library eBook collection, North Carolina libraries are contributing up to ten books each to be scanned by Internet Archive, converted to a single digital copy, and added to the shared collection of eBooks for check out.  Most of the eBooks 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 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 eBooks, 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 eBook 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. The Open Library platform allows patrons to access digital copies of books that were never available to them before, and even features the DAISY eBook 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 “eBooks,” 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 eBooks will first need to install Adobe Digital Editions (a free download available from: http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions).


NC LIVE is a consortium of the state’s 198 public and academic libraries dedicated to helping North Carolina libraries in their efforts to support education, enhance statewide economic development, and improve the quality of life of their communities. Through North Carolina libraries, NC LIVE offers free access to electronic resources for all ages on topics ranging from business, careers and investing, to auto repair, health, history and genealogy.  NC LIVE eBooks, magazines, newspapers, journals, videos, and other materials are available online from any Internet connection via North Carolina library websites, and through www.nclive.org.  Contact your local public, community college, or academic library library for free access to NC LIVE resources.  For more information, please visit www.nclive.org.

About State Library of North Carolina

The State Library of North Carolina is a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources and works in partnership with communities to develop library service, coordinates statewide programs for all types of libraries, and offers direct library service to state employees, genealogy researchers, and people who have visual and physical handicaps.

About Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include additional types of digitized content. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in their collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.
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