As teachers, librarians, and administrators prepare to start a new school year, many school professionals are probably thinking very seriously about budgets, especially where their technology dollars are concerned. One of the many frustrations that schools have felt in regard to technology has been the availability of e-readers and tablet computers, but a lack of lending content for the students to read on them.
Now, Follett, one of the world’s largest media providers to public schools, has inked a deal with Hachette Book Group to provide digital editions of many of its children’s and teens’ titles to school libraries. HBG, which owns Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, is only the most recent publisher to sign on with Follett, as one division of Penguin Random House has already made a similar partnership.
“As one of Follett’s largest partners, HBG offers a wide variety of quality ebook titles that customers can circulate to students for as long as needed to support the school’s educational needs,” said Todd Litzsinger, President of Follett’s Content Solutions and Services, in a press release on the deal. “The addition of HBG’s ebook titles reflects our mission of helping educators engage students with content and technology that drives learning outcomes.”
There is possibly no more community arena in which ebooks stand to make radical change than in the public education sector. The savings to tax payers alone as schools transition to digital–especially in communities which leverage students’ own device purchases in order to avoid buying and insuring costly hardware–should serve as enough of an incentive to help foster more deals of this kind. When teachers’ own expenses of book and supply purchases are taken into consideration, a long understood fact of the profession, more leaders and publishers should feel compelled to work on the ebook issue.