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Libraries (including Minitex) make ebooks easier


Screenshot of SimplyE ebook app

A recent Library Journal article announced the launch of a new ebook app from New York Public Library (NYPL) called SimplyE. The app employs a single interface to access ebooks from multiple ebook collections. Using NYPL’s SimplyE app, NYPL cardholders can browse, borrow, and read ebooks from Overdrive, 3M, Baker & Taylor, and the public domain in three clicks.

In addition to simplifying the sometimes cumbersome process of checking out ebooks through other platforms, SimplyE helps in promotion of a library’s full ebook collection by presenting it all in one place instead of spread across vendor interfaces.

The SimplyE app was developed by NYPL with IMLS funds and in partnership with a number of other libraries and consortia. Several features are still in development. The code will be released open source.

Minitex was recently awarded an IMLS grant to build consortial features into the SimplyE app as well as add additional researcher features. When work for SimplyE for Consortia is complete, a library cardholder will be able to access ebooks from collections across the multiple libraries they may have access to using the single SimplyE app. For instance, a K-12 teacher would have a single ebook app to read ebooks made available by her school library, her local public library, and the academic library where she takes classes.

SimplyE for Consortia work is led by Minitex with partners including library consortia like Reaching Across the Illinois Library System (RAILS), and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), as well as NYPL and others. The grant runs through June of 2018.