About three quarters of American public libraries currently lend out e-books, and in the past year libraries have seen a sharp growth in e-book borrowing. At 2Leaf Press, we’re excited about making our eBooks available for library circulation, so we’re pleased to announce that our titles are now available through EBSCO. EBSCO began in 1944 with magazine subscription sales. Today, EBSCO offers library resources to customers in academic, medical, K–12, public library, law, corporate, and government markets worldwide.
While some publishers are hedging their full participation with lending institutions due to licensing restrictions, 2Leaf Press believes that the benefits of making our titles available at libraries outweighs our profit margin. America’s libraries have always provided unfettered, no-fee access to reading materials (no matter the format), which fosters educational opportunity for all. And if eBooks encourage people to read more, that’s good for public libraries – which have a core mission to foster literacy and community engagement with information, culture and civic life – and it’s good for us, because readers discover our books and our authors.
EBSCO became involved in eBooks when it acquired NetLibrary from OCLC in March 2010. NetLibrary had already developed a fully formed eBook platform that had a large collection of about 200,000 eBooks from 500 publishers available in 17,000 sites worldwide. EBSCO’s challenge was to smooth out the kinks and integrate the existing platform into their services. Now known as EBSCOhost, their databases are the most-used, premium online information resources for millions of end-users around the globe. All a library card holder has to do is log in with their library credentials, browse and view books on a desktop or on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), and check out and download titles.
Although librarians are eager to ensure greater access to their digital offerings, it has become an ongoing struggle to do so. Former Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners director Rob Maier, who now serves on a working group about digital content for the American Library Association, puts it in the starkest terms, saying: “At its root, it’s the public interest against the private interest of publishers.”
2Leaf Press will do it can to promote its titles, both in print and eBook formats to lending libraries. We’re real excited about this latest venture, and if you are a librarian or a patron, please check out our titles.