As well-known and highly respected publishing entities like newspapers and reference books struggle to compete with free information available on the internet, publishers of these types of content are forced to find new ways to stay relevant and more importantly, to stay in business. With the announcement last year the the two-hundred-plus-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica would stop publishing its volumes, other publishing mainstays took a good look at the state of the industry and took steps to evolve.
Another widely used encyclopedia, World Book, initially began looking into digital reference materials, but has now expanded its business model to include an option that meets users where they are. With this week’s announcement of its subscription model for schools and libraries, the online platform World Book eBooks can continue to sell its content in ways that users can actually consume it.
According to a press release on the launch, “The e-book collection includes beautifully illustrated, engaging titles that contain such multimedia features as videos, audio, and games. Subscribers to World Book eBooks receive 24/7 unlimited simultaneous access to the entire collection, enabling school librarians and public librarians to offer World Book eBooks at all times to all users––no holds or waiting. An ‘early adopter’ subscription includes updates and revisions to e-books, as well as all new titles that are added to the site during their subscription.”
The content, which can be accessed from any internet-ready computer or tablet, is not limited by the bounds of typical library licensing in which there are predetermined numbers of check outs or patron use. Participating organizations can enjoy simultaneous checkouts, and can also experience the added benefit of helping the library continue to be a relevant source of information; rather conducting internet searches for information, library patrons can access World Book’s content through their libraries via the internet.