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April 22, 2014 > Free eBooks

Free eBooks

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa

Santa Clara County Library District Libraries (SCCLD) now offer for free over 200 works of classic literature in multiple eBook formats as part of its ÒAlways Available eBook ClassicsÓ collection. Readers can download these titles for free without a library card on their electronic devices, and keep them forever, with no expiration date.

In June 2013, the California State Library for a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) awarded SCCLD $40,000 by to develop a simple, more expedient way of providing Ôon demandÕ eBooks to library users through an existing library catalog platform. SCCLDÕs ÒAlways Available eBook ClassicsÓ collection was created in response to this need.

SCCLD identified classic literature titles no longer under copyright restrictions, and added these titles to its eBook collection. These eBooks are available through the SCCLD library catalog and multiple individuals may now access a single title simultaneously. The eBooks are readily available in Kindle and ePub formats, with links to additional eBook formats on the OpenLibrary website:

ÒAs a library system located in the heart of Silicon Valley, it made sense for SCCLD to develop and offer an innovative and technical solution which improves eBook access,Ó said Nancy Howe, Santa Clara County Librarian. ÒWe are very excited about this new offering and hope libraries throughout the country will be able to replicate this program to make it easier for the public to gain access to popular classic literature.Ó
ÒEach month, on average, our patrons borrow 500 eBook classic titles, and more than 10,000 eBooks overall from our catalog,Ó said Carol Frost, Deputy County Librarian. ÒWe expect students as well as lovers of classic literature to greatly benefit from the addition of the ÕAlways Available eBook ClassicsÕ collection.Ó

No longer will students need to wait weeks to access these titles; in fact, entire English classes will be able to download the same book to multiple devices simultaneously and save thousands of dollars in the process. As an added benefit, students will be able to keep these downloaded classics forever and read them at their own pace.
About the Santa Clara County Library District

Known as one of AmericaÕs best 100 public libraries, the Santa Clara County Library District promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work.

Visit Santa Clara County Library District online at

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