Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Open eBooks" Will Bring Thousands Of Books & Inspire Reading For All Children In Need

A few days ago there was a buzz on Twitter and online focusing around something new and exciting for our young readers.

It is called Open eBooks.

In fact, the hashtag #openebooks and @openEbks told an exciting story of this wonderful new initiative which will give children from households in-need equitable access through thousands of popular and award-winning titles with the Open eBooks app without checkouts or holds.
From the Open eBooks website...

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

And I love the goal of Open eBooks which 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. 

Can you imagine the difference this amazing initiative will bring to children, families, and school communities throughout our country?  It will make a difference. 

First Lady Michelle Obama's message captured the excitement of what the Open eBooks initiative will mean to so many as it brings books to all young readers. 
The publishers above provided access to their eBooks in a collection that is valued at more than $250 million dollars.  
The titles for the Open eBooks app were selected by the DPLA Curation Corps, a group of librarians and other information professionals who will help coordinate books for inclusion in the Open eBooks program. 

The DPLA Curation Corps were challenged to craft an Open eBooks collection that is diverse, compelling, and appropriately targeted for our that there is something for every child to read, enjoy, and learn from. 
All educators, program leaders and librarians who work with in-need youth in libraries, schools, shelters, clinics, out-of-school time programs, military family programs, early childhood programs, and other capacities can access Open eBooks by registering with First Book. 

Your school (Title 1 or Title 1 eligible school) or, a program or library must serves at least 70% of children from families in need to qualify for First Book and the Open eBook app. 

You can get started by going to this link
The First Book website will walk qualified adults through the process of receiving access for Open eBooks.  

Once registered, educators can request access codes for Open eBooks which they will give the children they work with. 
The eBooks are then access using the Open eBooks app, which can be found on the Open eBooks website.   

This app can be used on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device.  
The Open eBooks app will give students the ability to borrow up to 10 books at a time which will be available for 56 days before they are renewed. Children may borrow as many new books as they would like.  

There are different ways that all of us can support and spread the word about Open eBooks.   
Please check out @openEbks on Twitter and Instagram.... I smiled at the picture of Shaq checking out his book Little Shaq on the Open eBooks app.

You can also connect with Open eBooks on Facebook and find the answers to questions you may have here

This initiative will inspire and help millions of children develop a love of reading.  And what a beautiful difference this will make while bringing them stories, imagination, hope and opened doors. 

Thank you to everyone involved.....I hope that other publishers, organizations, educators, communities, and families will be inspired to help with Open eBooks too. 

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