Birmingham, UK, March 25th 2003 - The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames has led the way in the UK public library sector by launching a new e-book service to their users. They join 2,747 public libraries that netLibrary serves, mainly in the USA and Canada.
Having received funding from the People's Network Excellence Fund Award, granted by the New Opportunities Fund, Richmond selected netLibrary as one of the e-book suppliers for this innovative project in public library use of e-books.
In this first phase Richmond libraries purchased a wide-ranging collection of netLibrary titles, covering such subject areas as: computers, Internet and systems; management and public relations; psychology; social sciences, sociology and anthropology.
"We chose netLibrary because its breadth of subject coverage will allow us to develop a comprehensive online non-fiction and reference collection". Said Monica Vidana, E-books Project Co-ordinator. "In the future, we are planning to include titles covering core subject areas such as Art, Law and Science as more titles with UK rights become available. We are confident the development of our netLibrary collection will benefit both the end user and the Library Service."
This digital initiative was launched on the 24th March 2003 at East Sheen Library, one of the branch libraries in the Borough. The launch included demonstrations of the service along with presentations. The Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Douglas Orchard opened the event with a toast to the success of the new service accompanied by Caroline Taylor, Richmond's Head of Libraries and Information Sciences. Librarians and representatives from other Local Authorities also attended this event, and were able to see netLibrary e-books in use.
"The eBooks@Richmond Libraries initiative, funded by the Peoples Network Excellence Fund, paves the way for UK public libraries to develop e-collections for their users". Said Janet Lees, Director, OCLC PICA. "Richmond are to be congratulated on their innovative approach to providing these services both from within the library and through remote access, thus providing 24-7 access to digital information to the public. I am sure that many other UK public libraries will follow their lead".
OCLC PICA is a European Library Co-operative. OCLC PICA is committed to helping libraries serve people by providing economical access to knowledge through innovation and collaboration.
netLibrary, a division of OCLC, develops, hosts, maintains and preserves electronic book collections for academic, corporate, public and school libraries. Thousands of libraries worldwide are currently providing netLibrary eBooks to their users. netLibrary is based in Boulder, Colorado USA.