As millions of children across the country head back to school, educators also have a new opportunity to introduce young readers to Open eBooks, the ground-breaking e-reader app that makes thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available to children in need for free.
Starting this month, Open eBooks users will now be able to log in using Clever, a secure educational login platform, making it even easier for educators to help children take advantage of this program, and increase access to a wider network of students. Nearly 25,000 schools currently using Clever are eligible for Open eBooks, which is available to formal and informal educators serving children in need. Clever will also make it possible for any district to sign up for its services at no cost in order to use Open eBooks.
Launched in February, Open eBooks supports the White House’s ConnectED initiative, and is designed to address the challenge of providing digital reading materials to children in need. The free app offers unprecedented access to quality digital content, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million from major publishers including Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.
More than 6,000 titles — and counting — are available for multi-user checkout on Open eBooks, and there are no hold queues, so children never have to wait to read a new book or old favorite. There are no overdue fees, and children can check-out multiple books at once.
Adults who work with children in need through libraries, schools, shelters and clinics, out-of-school programs, military family services, early childhood programs and other capacities can qualify for Open eBooks credentials by first signing up with First Book and then requesting Open eBooks access for the children they serve. Students can download the free Open eBooks app to their individual devices from the App Store or Google Play and enter their access code to start enjoying Open eBooks. Children who received access codes from educators last school year do not need to reapply for codes again, and can continue to enjoy Open eBooks.
Educators can now download an easy-to-use spreadsheet of student codes, making distribution easier, especially for those requesting a large number of codes.
Additional updates to Open eBooks are expected for later this fall.
Clever joins a coalition of literacy, library, publishing and technology partners who joined together to make the Open eBooks program possible. The initiative’s partners — Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), First Book, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor — created the app, curated the eBook collection, and developed a system for distribution and use. They received financial support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, with content contributions from major publishers.
Information and updates on the initiative will be shared on the Open eBooks website and on Facebook and Twitter.