“Enhancing the collections of public libraries and making these materials available 24/7 is a great benefit to communities in Texas."
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) announced a new program, E-Read Texas, to bring electronic books to Texans served by small community libraries in all parts of the state beginning September 1. The E-Read Texas program will provide an easy-to-use platform to access e-books provided by TSLAC alongside materials purchased by local libraries.
“We are very happy to be able to offer Texans access to these high-demand materials through their public libraries,” said Mark Smith, TSLAC director and Texas State Librarian. “We recognize the great need in communities across the state for diverse reading materials and are excited to partner with local libraries to provide cost-effective and user-friendly access to those resources.”
TSLAC will partner with Amigos Library Services to make SimplyE, an open-source e-book platform, available to as many as 225 small and medium-sized community libraries over the next two years. SimplyE includes easy-to-use e-reader apps for iOS and Android, allowing users to check out and read e-books provided by their local library.
“Enhancing the collections of public libraries and making these materials available 24/7 is a great benefit to communities in Texas. We encourage everyone to get a library card to take advantage of this and the many other amazing things libraries offer for free,” said Alan Kornblau, chief executive officer of Amigos Library Services. “We are proud to partner with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in providing this easy access to electronic books for people of all ages.”
This project represents the first stage of a multi-year project aimed to bring more e-books to Texans via their public libraries. The program complements TSLAC’s TexShare and TexQuest programs that leverage statewide buying power to bring cost-effective access to e-resources to virtually every person in the state. Texans use e-resources provided by TSLAC over 140 million times each year.
The E-Read Texas program will include a collection of general-interest adult fiction and nonfiction e-books. Libraries will be able stretch local book budgets by using these e-books to supplement their existing collections, all of which will be available through the SimplyE platform.
TSLAC is working collaboratively with the Texas library community to select content for the E-Read Texas collection, which will be available before the end of the calendar year. The E-Read Texas program will have a statewide impact built on local needs that improves the ability of Texas libraries to engage with their communities.
More information about E-Read Texas can be found on TSLAC’s Library Developments blog: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/librarydevelopments/?p=24660
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic, and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.