In advance of the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, Library Journal (LJ) and BiblioBoard are pleased to announce the launch of beta versions of the LJ SELF-e platform and curation service at the following library systems: Los Angeles Public Library, San Diego County Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Arizona State Library through Reading Arizona; and statewide in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts eBook Project.
LJâ€™s SELF-e, announced in May 2014, connects self-published authors with public libraries and their patronsâ€”both locally and nationally. Using the SELF-e submission portal, authors in the beta librariesâ€™ communities can submit their self-published ebook(s) for display and patron access across that state. Additionally, they have the opportunity to opt-in to allow LJ to evaluate and select titles for inclusion in curated genre collections that participating public libraries will make available to their patrons all over the United States. SELF-e submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first collections set to be released later this year.
The submission portal is branded by the authorâ€™s local library. Each state will come up with its own title for the Module with its stateâ€™s authors. For example, Arizona has chosen the title â€œOne Book Arizonaâ€ for their statewide Module celebrating the work of local authors. SELF-e, a royalty-free service, appeals to writers looking for the next-generation discovery service for ebooks in libraries.
LJ is thrilled to embark on this project. â€œWeâ€™ve been assessing the self-published title landscape for the past three years, and it has been frustrating to see the gap remain unbridged between self-published authors, public libraries, and their patrons,â€ says Ian Singer, publisher at Library Journal. â€œWe didnâ€™t want to be another fee-based review service for self-published titles, as thatâ€™s not providing a solution to authors or libraries. Weâ€™ve been looking for a way to connect the two for their common audience, the reader. LJâ€™s unsurpassed expertise in reviewing titlesâ€”which is critical for library book selectionâ€”coupled with the BiblioBoard platform is a compelling solution to unite all three.â€
Mitchell Davis, founder and Chief Business Officer of BiblioLabs, is eager for libraries to begin using the system. â€œThis local library aspect is the part of SELF-e that accepts every author, no matter what self-publishing service they use or whether or not their book is accepted into the LJ-curated Module. Itâ€™s a space to celebrate the stateâ€™s local talent and enhance the community of a regionâ€™s authors and readers. Weâ€™re honored to be working with such great libraries for the initial release of the service.â€
SELF-e was inspired in part by Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL), one of the libraries now previewing the feature. CCPL librarian Sari Feldman, president-elect of the American Library Association, shares Davisâ€™s excitement about the projectâ€™s launch. â€œAs libraries evolve in the 21st century, we recognize the increasingly important role that libraries must play in advancing both reading and writing communities. CCPL is delighted to participate in the SELF-e beta program because we have been searching for an effective tool to support self-published authors as well as the community of readers who want to connect with new work.â€
Los Angeles Public Libraryâ€™s Catherine Royalty sees SELF-e as way to develop the libraryâ€™s literary community in the digital sphere. Royalty says, â€œWe are very excited to be partnering with Library Journal and BiblioBoard to showcase emerging self-published authors at the library. We plan to use the product to foster a community of local authorship and to provide our patrons with access to exciting new literary voices.â€
After the beta period is over, the library-branded submission system and subsequent state Module will be available free to every public library that subscribes to BiblioBoard as a core part of the platform.
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 7,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and websites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit www.libraryjournal.com.
BiblioBoard is the PatronsFirstâ„¢ mobile library. The folks behind BiblioBoard are a powerful team based in Charleston, SC. They aim to transform access to information by providing a world-class user experience that thrills library patrons and is profitable for publishers. BiblioBoard is moving library content delivery into the future in a sustainable way. BiblioLabs is also a proud member of the Charleston Digital Corridor. To learn more, visit www.biblioboard.com.