Open eBooks is a partnership between Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, and First Book, with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor. This effort is made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative.
Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Children from in-need families can access these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app and read as many as they like without incurring any costs. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.
NYPL created the app enabling children to read eBooks on a wide variety of devices, including tablets donated as part of the President’s ConnectED initiative and on smartphones increasingly used by Americans at all income levels.
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides access to millions of brand new, high quality print books and other educational resources to classrooms and programs serving children in need. First Book is providing full access to Open eBooks to every educator in its Network, and will distribute access codes for Open eBooks to educators serving children in need at fbmarketplace.org/openebooks.
DPLA’s national network of librarians and cultural heritage organizations is helping to coordinate books for inclusion in Open eBooks. In summer 2015, DPLA issued a call for interested librarians and school media specialists to apply for the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural Curation Corps. DPLA evaluated over 140 compelling applications from across the country and selected nine passionate individuals who represent a broad range of expertise and a commitment to serving in-need and diverse populations. The DPLA Curation Corps applied their knowledge and professional skills to shape a compelling collection that is diverse, exciting, and age-appropriate so that every child has a book to read and enjoy.
Thanks to the generous contributions of the eBook platform delivery service, AXIS 360 from Baker & Taylor, Open eBooks is able to provide access to titles from the following publishers:
- Bloomsbury: Providing unlimited access to over 1,000 of its most popular titles.
- Candlewick: Providing unlimited access to all relevant children’s and young-adult eBook titles in their catalog.
- Cricket Media: Offering full digital access to all of its market-leading magazines for children and young adults, including Ladybug and Cricket.
- Hachette: Offering access to a robust catalog of their popular and award-winning titles.
- HarperCollins: Providing a vast selection of their award-winning and popular titles.
- Lee & Low: Providing unlimited access to over 700 titles from this leading independent publisher of multicultural books.
- Macmillan: Providing unlimited access to all of the K-12 age-appropriate titles in their catalog of approximately 2,500 books.
- National Geographic: Providing unlimited access to all of their age-appropriate content.
- Penguin Random House: Committing to provide an extensive offering of their popular and award-winning books.
- Simon & Schuster: Providing access to their entire e-catalog of books for children ages 4-14, comprised of 3,000 titles.