Baker & Taylor has been involved in the digital library space for many years. Their e-book lending solution has proved to be quite popular with users because their EPUB and PDF format worked on a myriad of e-readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nook and Kobo. This has all changed with the advent of the new 360 app.
Yesterday Baker & Taylor released their next generation Axis 360 for Android and iOS. In order to read digital content you borrow from the library you need to download or update this app. Why? Well, B&T for the most part did away with doing business with Adobe, which was costing them an arm and a leg in subscription fees.
So are e-readers completely dead to B&T? Maybe not, I heard there is a manual activation service that a library specifically has to enroll in so they can support e-readers. Once this legacy system is activated patrons will have the option to checkout materials in EPUB or PDF formats from the library’s Axis 360 website and, in their accustomed routine, download content to Adobe Digital Editions on their computer and synch files to their e-readers. It is important to note that this service to support popular e-book formats is not turned on by default anymore.
The only silver lining to the enhanced 360 app is that users no longer need to have Acoustik, Blio or axisReader apps to experience digital audiobooks or ebooks, as all titles open directly in the new Axis 360 application. Users also have access to their bookshelf of borrowed material – “My Stuff” – seamlessly from all their devices – desktop, tablets and smartphones.
Update: Baker and Taylor got in touch with me regarding this article. They said that all a library has to do to enable EPUB and PDF e-books on their website is to contact B&T and ask them. There are no extra fees for the library to do it. So if you are a library patron you must get in touch with your branch and tell them to contact Baker and Taylor.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.