E-Book Updates

Palm Digital Media Inc. (www.palmdigitalmedia.com) and Lightning Source Inc. (www.lightningsource.com) have introduced the "Classics Collection," a selection of classic literature that gives students, teachers and administrators unlimited use of up to 500 e-books for an entire school year. The companies are offering schools an affordable way to use e-book technology, while providing a comprehensive collection of titles. A licensing fee starting at $499 for the school year gives schools unlimited access to the e-books. Schools receive the "Classics Collection" on a CD-ROM, which can be loaded onto a school's server. Then, the e-books are listed on the schools' Web site by both title and author, or can be located by using the browser's built-in search function. Users can download the e-books in less than a minute to a number of handheld or portable devices, notebook or desktop PCs, or tablet PCs. For schools without Web sites, Lightning Source can host the service for a fee.

OverDrive Inc. (www.overdrive.com) and e-book retailer Fictionwise Inc. (www.fictionwise.com) have formed an alliance that will provide affordable e-book lending solutions to small and midsized public and school libraries. Under terms of the agreement, OverDrive will provide premium content and digital rights management services to Fictionwise for use of its Libwise product (www.libwise.com). Patrons of libraries using Libwise will be able to download e-books to a PC, any popular handheld device and even some Nokia cell phones. In addition, earlier this year, OverDrive introduced a digital media repository called the Digital Library Reserve, which has already gained the support of leading publishers and was deployed by the Cleveland Public Library (www.cpl.org) in March.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.