Bloomsbury Press Release Friday 17 Apr 2009
At a time when the British library system is under pressure to reach larger audiences with tighter budgets, and when the reading public is feeling the pinch, Bloomsbury is launching a unique, affordable and user-friendly online initiative.
In association with http://www.exacteditions.com/ and using existing technology in libraries across the country, Bloomsbury is rolling out a groundbreaking e-lending strategy which will allow readers to read collections of bestselling books at local library terminals or with the use of a library card on home computers and internet enabled devices.
• The Bloomsbury Library Online will be sold on subscription – libraries will subscribe to a bookshelf for a year at a time and will pay according to the size of population served.
• New titles will be added on a continuous basis – free of charge within the subscription year.
• Users will click through from the Library terminals or through an online portal accessible via any web browser (including those found on iPhone and Blackberry) anytime, anywhere in the UK.
• Text accessible through screen readers and therefore available to blind and partially-sighted users.
Bloomsbury Executive Director Richard Charkin said "Libraries are hugely important to readers, communities and authors and are under severe financial constraints. While never forgetting the importance of books themselves, they're also being pressured to adapt to the demands of the 21st century: bridging the digital divide, serving multicultural communities, attracting new users and reaching into homes. The Bloomsbury Library Online serves to fill that hole and will hopefully blaze a trail for similar developments in the library system."
Kate Summerscale added: "I'm delighted that The Suspicions of Mr Whicher will be part of The Bloomsbury Library Online – it sounds a great scheme, especially for book groups."