Libwise: Comprehensive eBook Lending Solution For Libraries and Groups
October 1, 2002 -- Chatham, NJ -- Fictionwise, Inc., one of the world's leading eBook retailers, today announced the launch of Libwise--a product that allows any library or group to field a completely outsourced, automated eBook lending website. The product officially launches on October 7, 2002 at http://www.libwise.com
Steve Pendergrast, co-founder of Fictionwise, said: "Libwise allows anyone--from a traditional public library to a corporate library or even an author fan website--to loan eBooks to their membership using a customized website branded by the library. Setup is simple, taking as little as an hour, and all hosting and customer support is handled by Fictionwise for a low monthly fee. No technical expertise is required."
The Libwise product allows patrons to download borrowed eBooks to their personal computers or many popular handheld devices such as Palm, PocketPC, WinCE, Psion, or even some Nokia cell phones. EBooks are read using the free Mobipocket reading software. Mobipocket's secure technology enables eBooks to "time-out," which makes the entire model possible.
Borrowers may read the eBooks during a checkout period--configurable by the library from a few days to a few weeks--after which the eBook file expires and then becomes available for the next patron to borrow. The patron interface is accessible through any industry standard web browser and can be customized to look just like another part of the library's general website.
"Libwise provides library staff with a powerful administrative console," said Scott Pendergrast, co-founder of Fictionwise.com. "The console allows them to control checkout periods, waiting lists, and other library policies. In addition, the console provides a suite of reports to help the library's staff determine which eBooks have the highest usage rates, patron activity, and other information."
EInfo Solutions is an Australian company which plans to use Libwise to service rural libraries in the Australian outback. Mike Ottoy, CEO of eInfo Solutions, commented: "Libwise is easy to use and the download of eBooks works really well. The administration functions appear to cover everything that we would require, and are very simple to use. From our perspective, the greatest benefits will come from being able to share our resources amongst a number of libraries in our area."
The Libwise product is very cost effective, making it practical for even tiny libraries or private groups such as clubs, church groups, author fan websites, or corporate libraries to field a full-featured eBook lending website. A website powered by Libwise can be set up, hosted, and fully supported by Fictionwise for as little as $29.95 a month. The librarian may select content from a growing catalog of contemporary titles that already numbers in the thousands, and in dozens of categories, both fiction and nonfiction.
When used in a 'book club' environment, the system can be configured to automatically collect dues from participants. Public libraries would not use that feature, but would use Libwise's ability to validate card-holding patrons using the library's existing OPAC (open public access catalog) system. Public libraries can also enable a "donation" system that allows patrons to donate eBooks or cash to the library.
Kelly Ford, owner and founder of KnowBetter.com, said: "By building our new 'KnowBetter Lending Library' on the Libwise platform, we'll be able to offer eBook readers thousands of electronic titles they can freely check out--at any time of the day or night. The technology involved is truly remarkable. Libwise allows us to provide another great service to our readers, continue to work on our core website, and still have a little free time to read a few eBooks ourselves."
Information about Libwise can be found at http://www.libwise.com.
Fictionwise.com is the leading independent eBook retailer today with over 6,700 eBooks in all categories of fiction and nonfiction for sale in formats for personal computers and virtually all handheld devices. With sales topping 15,000 eBooks per month and the extensive customer service experience that it brings, Fictionwise is uniquely positioned to service the fast-growing library market for eBooks.
Libwise product information:
Mobipocket.com SA is a French company incorporated in March 2000. The Mobipocket eBook Reader is the company's flagship product, providing a universal reader for a wide variety of PDAs as well as personal computers.
KnowBetter.com is an independent news and resource website devoted to covering the eBook industry. It offers numerous free and other resources for industry professionals and the eBook reading public, including: market research, industry news, commentary, promotional services, eBook news, reviews, FAQs, discussion groups, and more.
About eInfo Solutions
eInfo Solutions is an Australian company specializing in the sales and services of electronic document management and helpdesk technologies to the Australia/Asian market, including providing comprehensive solutions for deploying eBooks to libraries.