September 13, 2016 -- As millions of children across the country head back to school, educators also have a new opportunity to introduce young readers to Open eBooks, the ground-breaking e-reader app that makes thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available to children in need for free.
Starting this month, Open eBooks users will now be able to log in using Clever, a secure educational login platform, making it even easier for educators to help children take advantage of this program, and increase access to a wider network of students. Nearly 25,000 schools currently using Clever are eligible for Open eBooks, which is available to formal and informal educators serving children in need. Clever will also make it possible for any district to sign up for its services at no cost in order to use Open eBooks.
Launched in February, Open eBooks supports the White House's ConnectED initiative, and is designed to address the challenge of providing digital reading materials to children in need. The free app offers unprecedented access to quality digital content, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million from major publishers including Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
More than 6,000 titles -- and counting -- are available for multi-user checkout on Open eBooks, and there are no hold queues, so children never have to wait to read a new book or old favorite. There are no overdue fees, and children can check-out multiple books at once.
Adults who work with children in need through libraries, schools, shelters and clinics, out-of-school programs, military family services, early childhood programs and other capacities can qualify for Open eBooks credentials by first signing up with First Book and then requesting Open eBooks access for the children they serve. Students can download the free Open eBooks app to their individual devices from the App Store or Google Play and enter their access code to start enjoying Open eBooks. Children who received access codes from educators last school year do not need to reapply for codes again, and can continue to enjoy Open eBooks.
Educators can now download an easy-to-use spreadsheet of student codes, making distribution easier, especially for those requesting a large number of codes.
Additional updates to Open eBooks are expected for later this fall.
Clever joins a coalition of literacy, library, publishing and technology partners who joined together to make the Open eBooks program possible. The initiative's partners -- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), First Book, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor -- created the app, curated the eBook collection, and developed a system for distribution and use. They received financial support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, with content contributions from major publishers.
Information and updates on the initiative will be shared on the Open eBooks website and on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Digital Public Library of America
Launched in April 2013, the Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America's libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. Connecting digital collections of a growing network of the nation's libraries, archives, and museums, the DPLA provides access to this collection, free to all, through its website and API. Learn more about the DPLA by watching this brief video or by visiting https://dp.la.
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding.
About First Book
First Book is a non-profit social enterprise that has distributed more than 150 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children in need throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis to its network of educators and program leaders, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook or Twitter.
About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor is the premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products from approximately 25,000 suppliers to over 20,000 customers in 120 countries. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. For more information, visit www.baker-taylor.com.
Clever is the platform that powers technology in the classroom. Founded in 2012 by educators and technologists who knew that widely available educational apps could improve both teaching and learning, but that tools to deploy and secure the applications were simply unavailable. Today, one in three innovative K-12 schools in the U.S. trust Clever to secure their student data as they adopt learning apps in the classroom. In 2014, Clever won the ‘Crystal Clear' award by the Digital Innovation Learning Awards. It is also the trusted provider of the American Federation of Teachers, who uses Clever to secure its own ‘Share my Lesson' platform with its teacher members. Backed by Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Partners, Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, and GSV Capital, Clever currently has 100 employees and is based in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.clever.com