Home Grown collection brings 1,200 eBooks to readers

By Haywood County Library | Aug 22, 2014

Haywood County Public Library and NC LIVE — North Carolina’s statewide public and academic library consortium — are experimenting with a new eBook project that gives North Carolina library patrons unlimited access to more than 1,200 eBook titles from North Carolina-based publishers. The Home Grown collection offers a wide range of content, including novels by popular North Carolina authors, poetry, short stories and non-fiction. The eBooks are available for public use on the BiblioBoard platform at http://nclive.org/ebooks and on North Carolina library websites, and features titles like "Guests on Earth" by Lee Smith and North Carolina and "Old Salem Cookery" by Beth Tartan, among many others.

The library consortium partnered with eight local publishing houses to purchase the eBooks, including Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill — an imprint of Workman Books — Crossroad Press, Gryphon House, Ingalls Publishing Group, John F. Blair Publishing, McFarland, Press 53 and UNC Press.

Unlike traditional library eBooks, this collection features always available, unlimited simultaneous user access during the life of the pilot, meaning patrons will not have to place a hold or wait for an eBook to become available. Additionally, the BiblioBoard platform allows users to view the eBooks in a web browser or download them to their tablet devices via the BiblioBoard Library app.

With this project, Haywood County Public Library was able to acquire eBook titles not previously available to libraries at lower prices than would be possible if libraries had purchased them independently.

"For the cost of about five to 10 eBooks per library, the Home Grown collection gives every North Carolinian access to more than 1,200 eBooks," said Tim Rogers, NC LIVE executive director. "It is something we can all feel good about."

"I believe this project showcases one of the many ways the state’s libraries are harnessing technology and working together to efficiently offer services that people want and need," said state librarian Cal Shepard. "When we pool our resources in this way, we’re able to achieve a lot more than we could individually."

The pilot program will run through December 2014, during which time NC LIVE will work with publishers, libraries, and BiblioLabs, the provider of the BiblioBoard platform, to assess the long-term sustainability and success of these models.