The Houston Public Library (HPL) has developed a comprehensive service and promotional plan for e-books in libraries called E-books for Everyone through a $75,000 Library Cooperation Grant it has received from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. This initiative also includes the participation of nine libraries in southeast Texas that will help provide greater assistance and support to public library e-book customers.
E-books for Everyone has provided staff in participating libraries with extensive training on e-book technology, industry trends and techniques for promoting services. As a result, staff is training other staff and the public as well. The e-book training also offers staff and customers a self-service tool for e-book support. This can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/e-booksfortexans/ or at the Web sites of participating libraries.
To introduce customers to a broad collection of free e-books on the Internet, the grant has also funded the addition of 142 books from the HPL’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center to the Internet Archive, a collection that includes more than 3.5 million books that can be downloaded to e-book readers and that can also be freely read. These HPL books can be viewed at http://www.archive.org/details/houstonlibrary.
Future promotional components of E-books for Everyone will feature short instructional videos that will be accessible via a YouTube channel. Social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter will also be used to draw attention to the new user interface and instructional videos to attract shared users.
The nine southeast Texas libraries cooperating in the E-books for Everyone initiative include: McMullan Memorial Library, Huntington, TX; Waller County Library, Hempstead, TX; Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX; Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library, Nederland, TX; Helen Hall Library, League City, TX; Effie and Wilton Hebert Public Library, Port Neches, TX; Friendswood Public Library, Friendswood, TX; Houston Public Library, Houston, TX; and Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX.
Leadership for the grant was provided by the Houston Area Library Automated Network, an HPL managed technology consortium that serves six libraries in the greater Houston Area and Amigos Library Services, a not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to serving libraries.
About the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Formed in 1909, TSLAC is committed to giving Texans access to information and programs they can use to improve their lives and communities. We provide historical and genealogical search assistance, federal and state government documents, electronic research, and library services to all Texans, including those who are unable to read standard print material because of physical or reading disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.state.tx.us.
About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 4 million customers per year, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.
Manager of Public Relations
Houston Public Library
832.393.1381; cell 713.435.9448