Partnership to Further National E-book Platform Created

In a Press Release, New York Public Library, Lyrasis, and the Digital Pubic Library of America (DPLA) have provided the following information:

“[We] are pleased to announce a new collaboration to help provide all public libraries with a free, open, library-controlled platform for managing their e-book and audiobook services.

Through this newly-established collaboration, DPLA, NYPL, and LYRASIS will each offer core services and tools that, in combination, will provide public libraries across the United States with a full-service pathway to acquire and deliver e-books and audiobooks through a library-controlled marketplace and platform.

The DPLA Exchange (, launched in 2017 and now providing access to over 300,000 titles including thousands of openly-licensed works, offers a new model for a library-centered marketplace for e-books and audiobooks.

NYPL provides the foundation of the new platform with its free-to-use e-book reader, SimplyE, which was developed to make ebooks easily accessible to the public through their libraries, and to allow libraries to organize and deliver their ebooks directly to patrons through a library-controlled app.  

LYRASIS, a leading non-profit delivering hosted solutions and technology support to libraries, offers preferred cloud-based hosting, ensuring that every library, large and small, can adopt and use SimplyE and the DPLA Exchange.

‘DPLA’s collaboration with NYPL and LYRASIS exemplifies the shared approach that is core to our work and represents an important step in the expansion of the DPLA Exchange and other ebook initiatives over the coming years, with support from the Sloan Foundation,’ said DPLA Executive Director John Bracken.

‘The New York Public Library is excited to work with these two great organizations to help public libraries across the country and to continue supporting our shared mission to make information as freely accessible as possible to all,’ said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx.

‘Public Libraries are crucial to our communities, our engagement with knowledge and learning, and in linking people-to-people. As a mission driven organization, LYRASIS is proud to partner with DPLA and NYPL in this effort to deliver a solution that is focused on library-centered control and maximizing impact on their communities,’ said Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS.

In addition to announcing their expanded collaboration, DPLA, NYPL, and LYRASIS are excited to work more closely with members of the library community across the US. The SimplyE Community Leadership Advisory Council, representing institutions across the country, will provide critical on-the-ground insight and guidance about the development of new tools and features, as well as strategies for reaching more libraries.  The members of the inaugural SimplyE Advisory Council are:

  • Kendall Wiggin, State Librarian, Connecticut State Library

  • Michael Blackwell, Project Manager, Maryland State Library Digital eLibrary Consortium

  • Deirdre Brennan, Executive Director, Reaching Across Illinois Library System

  • Paul Swanson, Technology Director, Minitex

  • Christine Peterson, Project Manager, Amigos

  • Paula MacKinnon, Executive Director, Califa

  • John Herbert, Technology Director, LYRASIS

  • Michele Kimpton, Director of Business Development, DPLA

  • Tony Ageh, Chief Digital Officer, NYPL”

ReadersFirst has commented upon the DPLA Exchange and SimplyE before but welcomes this new effort to expand both initiatives. SimplyE offers libraries the ability to launch content from across vendors without leaving the libraries’ own virtual space, promoting the libraries’ brand and enhancing privacy. The DPLA Exchange is not only providing some unique content but is advocating for new license models that will give libraries the ability to use their resources better. Both initiatives are working to improve the digital content experience and are worth investigating.

[Disclosure: the author is in the SimplyE Advisory Council]