DPLA now offering ebook creation service

By DPLA, February 11, 2021.
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The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce that we are now offering an ebook creation service to libraries. This new service, provided in partnership with Digital Divide Data (DDD), gives libraries the ability to easily and affordably digitize and reformat texts to create ebooks in EPUB format from print materials that are in the public domain or for which the library owns the copyright. Creating ebooks with DPLA will help libraries integrate local and more diverse content into their collections and enable these books to be made accessible to patrons via the SimplyE app as well as to the public via the DPLA Open Bookshelf collection and freebooks.dp.la

DPLA kicked off this service late last year with St. Mary’s County Library in Maryland by publishing In Relentless Pursuit of an Education, a local history of first-person accounts of the separate and unequal Black schools that existed in St. Mary’s County until the county finally complied with Brown v. Board of Education in 1967. The library was looking for a way to digitize locally owned print titles, which often are not easily accessible to patrons, and make them readily available and discoverable alongside the library’s licensed ebooks. “Any library that owns or partners with groups that own copyrights on materials, or that have significant out-of-copyright collections, have an opportunity to make those titles available,” said Michael Blackwell, director of the St. Mary’s County Library, of the collaboration, “It’s a great way to build a local collection and, as far as I know, unique to the DPLA Exchange. No commercial vendor that I know of offers the option.”

In Relentless Pursuit of an Education, African American Stories from a Century of Segregation (1865-1967)

Currently, DPLA is beginning production on the publication of a new ebook, tentatively titled By the Quill of Her Pen: Black Suffragists in Their Own Words. This book will be a collection of rights-cleared letters, diary entries, and accompanying photographs and biographical information that help bring to life the stories of Black women suffragists. Sub-awards of between $3,000 and $5,000 will be awarded to contributing institutions so that they can digitize relevant materials. There is more information about this project available here.

Open and convenient access to accurate information is core to DPLA’s mission and is essential to the role libraries have played in democratic societies for generations. The ebook creation service will be a complement to the small but growing list of free, easy-to-read ebooks DPLA has created from public documents, including the award-winning Mueller Report, released in 2019, and the Impeachment Papers, released in 2020. The Impeachment Papers II, which contains all the materials related to House Resolution 24, the second impeachment of President Trump, is available for instant download here. Find out more about DPLA Publications and download them for free here

If your library has openly licensed materials and is interested in utilizing DPLA ebook creation services, please get in touch

DPLA’s ebook work is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation