Wednesday, August 3, 2011

British Library plans by year's end to double the number of book titles available through its iPad app

The British Library 19th Century Collection is one of the great joys of owning an iPad, whether you can advantage of the free access, or else subscribe to gain full access.
Today the app has been updated to add even more content, as well as to add in some features.

As of today the available collection stands at more than 26,000 titles. But the plan is to get the collection up to 60,000.

The app offers some limited access to the collection, but for a subscription price of £1.99 per month, or $2.99 per month globally, the iPad owner will gain access to the full collection which will soon include books in European, Asian and African languages, as well.

"We launched a taster app in June and were completely overwhelmed by the response we received - it was phenomenal," Samantha Tillett, Product Development Manager at the British Library said in the Reuters story about the new update.

I was thinking about the future of libraries around the country and I think this is one of the more obvious solutions, including the subscription fees. Unfortunately, we live in a time where many American, and far too many politicians, no longer believe in institutions such as public libraries, believing that everything, everywhere should be in private hands. Ironically, this attitude about public libraries comes at a time when Borders is closing all its retails stores, making access to places where one can physically examine books in person more limited.