Non-fiction ebooks for your school library? No problem! There are many options available from the excellent K-12 focused publishers that we all know and love. From simple PDF scans to ground-breaking interactive ebooks that push the boundaries of technology and learning, the publishers we work with deliver high quality resources on a constant basis.
Also important is that those excellent resources are available with license terms that work for school libraries. Many of the resources are available for school-wide access, and single-user books are offered at a reasonable price.
But what about fiction?
In the larger publishing and library worlds, the major focus has been on public library interactions with the big trade publishers. That is an ongoing issue, but the more immediate result is that ebook terms have been written with a focus on public library use. Access is usually for single readers at a time with prices that can be problematic for schools needing to buy multiple copies for class use. Additionally, books are often licensed for only a single year or with a limit on loans before the library has to pay for the ebook again. These terms are harder for school libraries to work with given our need to supply consistent curriculum-based access over time.
The answer? Look at fiction that we can access.
Here be Fiction has been developed to support the discovery of fiction ebooks available from many of the same K-12 publishers that we are already working with for informational ebooks. These publishers have been producing high quality, award winning fiction books for years, but many school librarians are not familiar with the authors and titles. Here Be Fiction is working with the publishers to provide free access to selected ebooks to help school librarians discover the great fiction available right now.
We need your help to read these books, write reviews, and discover the hidden gems. Some of our colleagues have already begun the exploration; Here be Fiction will help accelerate the efforts by creating a critical mass of readers and reviewers. The site will remain available throughout the year for anyone the explore the reviews. Registered users can create wishlists of books that look interesting.
Participating publishers have agreed to the following terms:
- Publishers must provide either multi-user access or individual access with a discount for licensing multiple simultaneous readers so ebooks can be used for class novels, book clubs, reading groups, etc.
- Publishers must make ebooks must be available for offline access through a secure platform such as MackinVIA or a download using appropriate security to avoid digital divide issues and allow increased home access and reading in schools without wifi.
- Publishers must, when possible, allow the use of text-to-speech ability available through the reading platform to support struggling readers or those with special needs.
Here be Fiction was conceived of and developed by the School Library System of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. Mackin is providing additional support including access to the ebooks through the MackinVIA platform with online and mobile access with apps for iOS and Android devices. This project would not have been possible without the strong relationship that Mackin has with publishers. School Library Journal is supporting this project with editorial content, information sharing, and follow up platforms to spread the word about the great content we discover. Both of these companies, along with the participating publishers, are donating time and resources to support this effort on behalf of school libraries and school librarians. We greatly appreciate this acknowledgement of us and our profession.