Providing libraries and learners free digital access to four million books
Surprisingly, in the digital age millions of books, representing a century of knowledge, are not accessible online to scholars, journalists, students, and the public. Stymied by costs, e-book restrictions, policy risks, and missing infrastructure, libraries have struggled to meet the digital demand. Also, access to libraries is neither universal nor equitable.
The Internet Archive will expand libraries’ ability to deliver on their role as great equalizers, providing access to books and other resources to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them, regardless of geography.
The Internet Archive will enable libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge. The project will curate, digitize, and make available in digital form four million books to any library that owns the physical book.
The Internet Archive will start with the books most widely held and used in libraries and classrooms. The scale of the project will reduce digitization costs by 50 percent or more. The Internet Archive has prototyped this model for more than six years, digitizing 540,000 modern books originating from 100 partners and lending them to the public in a process that mirrors the way libraries traditionally lend physical books.
MacArthur Managing Director Cecilia Conrad discusses this bold solution.
Director of Partnerships, Internet Archive
Wendy Hanamura, Director of Partnerships, Internet Archive