You might see the words “Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners FY15 Legislative Agenda” and decide you’re not interested, but hang on just a sec: What if I tell you that this particular legislative agenda (a) is presented beautifully in an “infographic” style, (b) is no more than seven pages printed out, and (c) asks for support so that ALL Massachusetts residents will have equal access to digital resources such as e-books?
Still here? Great. The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), together with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is addressing the problem of the “digital lockout” (i.e. unequal access to digital resources). They have launched a pilot project to provide access to thousands of e-books, and Arlington is one of the pilot libraries.
For those savvy e-book readers who are already using Overdrive and are hungry for more e-books, the MA e-Book Project is your next step. By searching the catalog, you’ll be able to find e-books and digital audiobooks to download. From that same link, you could choose to search the Biblioboard or Axis360 catalogs directly. (Biblioboard has a lot of historical documents and primary sources; Axis360 has more current fiction and nonfiction.)
Once you’ve found a book to “check out” (download), you’ll need to make sure that you have the correct format for whatever device you’re using; this guide from the “App Zone” can help determine that.
We want to stress again that this is a pilot project, which means it’s far from perfect – but it’s the first major step toward having a statewide e-book catalog that everyone in Massachusetts can access. And if you try it out, we’d love to hear your feedback; it will help inform and improve the final product. Please e-mail us with comments.