Denver, CO -- Jan. 23, 2009 Libraries have a new alternative for providing access to compelling reading material. Starting today, OCLC’s NetLibrary will offer libraries five Sony Reader Mobile Collections – groups of eBooks which can be read on Sony’s Reader Digital Book.
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.
Both formats can be downloaded to a PC or Sony’s Reader. People simply need to have a valid library card for their local participating library and a PC with an Internet connection in order to start borrowing and enjoying eBooks. Borrowed eBooks automatically expire after the lending period.
"In an era of diminishing time and resources, libraries can provide valuable convenience and flexibility for their patrons with downloadable books and the opportunity to read them electronically," said Susan Hildreth, State Librarian of California. "Twenty-first century libraries are successful when they offer content in the widest variety of formats."
"From the beginning, we have emphasized the importance of choice when it comes to content for the Reader," Haber said. "In addition to our Sony eBook store with its strong selection of premium titles, libraries offer another option for those who prefer to borrow books at no cost without having to leave home."
About the Reader
The Reader Digital Book’s high-resolution electronic paper display delivers a realistic print look that rivals traditional paper and uses minimal power. A single battery charge provides up to 7,500 pages of continuous reading. The ease of changing font sizes makes every eBook a large print book and enables libraries to improve accessibility for low vision patrons.
In addition to electronic books, the Reader supports multiple file formats for personal documents and music. You can easily transfer Adobe PDF documents with reflow capability, Microsoft Word documents, BBeB files and other text file formats to the Reader. The device can store and display EPUB files and work with Adobe Digital Editions software, opening it up to almost a limitless quantity of content.
There are two Reader models available, including the PRS-505 and the PRS-700 that sell for about $300 and $400, respectively. Each comes complete with a USB cable, and a color-coordinated, protective soft cover. Both models along with their optional accessories can be purchased direct through www.sonystyle.com, at more than 40 SonyStyle® stores nationwide and at authorized retailers across the country. Librarians interested in Mobile Collections should contact OCLC: www.oclc.org. The pricing for Mobile Collections starts at $500.