Saturday, September 4, 2010

Online libraries: 'E' for convenience

With the proliferation of e-readers and development of e-ink technologies, there are those who have already begun to put chisel to headstone of traditional reading. On the other hand, technology is making access to books easier, such as in the form of online libraries that let readers browse and reserve books online, which are then delivered home.

EasyLib in Bangalore is one such establishment, marrying a "real" library of almost 22,000 titles with an online model. Proprietor Vanishree Mahesh used her own comfort with browsing online as an yardstick to build EasyLib. "I built the website [and] software myself. The bricks-and-mortar version and the online version both pretty much launched on the same day." That was July 2001, and today EasyLib has over 2,000 members.

FriendsofBooks on the other hand is an exclusively online library, run from Delhi/the National Capital Region, though they do deliver in other cities. Founder Arti Jain was fascinated by the network of public libraries in the US, a stark contrast to the situation in India. She and co-founder Manish Kumar decided to address this problem with FriendsOfBooks.

Full report here Sify

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