Two weeks ago we were thrilled to join The New York Public Library, First Book, and Baker & Taylor in announcing the launch of Open eBooks, an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from low-income households. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.
You may be wondering: what was DPLA’s role in all of this? It was our national network of librarians and cultural heritage organizations who helped to coordinate books for inclusion in Open eBooks. In summer 2015, we issued a call for interested librarians and school media specialists to apply for the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural Curation Corps. We evaluated over 140 compelling applications from across the country and selected nine passionate individuals who represent a broad range of expertise and a commitment to serving low-income and diverse populations.
The DPLA Curation Corps applied their knowledge and professional skills to shape a compelling collection that is diverse, exciting, and age-appropriate so that every child has a book to read and enjoy.
“I believe in literacy as the basic skill for success in school. I work in a special education school and spend every working day with barriers to literacy. My goals in both applying and wishing to continue with this initiative are to promote accessible and diverse books for children. Specifically, the books that make a child laugh, ask questions, and read out loud just for the fun of it!” writes Curation Corps member Dorothy M. Hughes.
Continuing Curation Corps member Vandy Pancetti-Donelson serves because, “this library is always open and I want to make sure our children have good books to choose. There is a book for every reader.”
To learn more about the members of the Curation Corps, visit the Curation Corps homepage.
Call for Curation Corps Class of 2016
After the successful Open eBooks launch, partners and publishers are excited to continue growing the collection with the help of the second class of the Curation Corps. Content selection will continue to prioritize diverse books, with an eye to multicultural and non-English language titles. We are also looking to create a collection of ebooks available to all readers, even without access codes.
We are seeking motivated, engaged community members who have experience with building and organizing children and young adult book collections, who have time to continue growing the Open eBooks collection through the end of 2016. Curation Corps members will select top content, highlight kid favorites, and help categorize titles to make them more discoverable inside the app.
If you are interested in helping us connect books to young readers, and you have expertise in this area, please consider being a member of our Ebook Collection Curation Corps. Applications are due Friday, April 1. We will announce the second class of Collection Curation Corps in April 2016.
Questions about the Curation Corps? Email us.
Open eBooks is a partnership between The New York Public Library, DPLA, and First Book, with assistance from Baker & Taylor, and made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. To learn more about Open eBooks, visit the Open eBooks website.