May 1, 2015 Last Updated 11:09 am

The White House announces $250 million eBook initiative

The Obama administration today announced a new eBook initiative designed to make 10,000 free eBooks available through non-profits and libraries. The effort brings together major publishers in a program valued at $250 million.


Fahrenheit 451 by Richard Unten licensed under CC BY 2.0

Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollin, Candlewick, Hachette, Bloomsbury, Lee & Low and Cricket Media have signed on to the program. Macmilla, for instance, is providing unlimited access to all of their approximately 2,500 K-12 age-appropriate titles.

“As part of today’s effort, the New York Public Library is developing an e-reader app that will provide access to a universe of digital books, including contributions from publishers and hundreds of classics already in the public domain, to create a book collection for students aged 4-18 from low-income families,” the White House said in its announcement.

“The New York Public Library will work with a network of top librarians will be volunteering their time through the Digital Public Library of America to connect young readers with books that match their reading levels and interests. New York Public Library will work with Firstbook, a book-donation non-profit, to help make sure eBooks reach students in low-income families.”

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