President Obama has launched a new plan to bring e-books to underserved kids, in an effort to expand their access to digital learning materials. The effort is an expansion on Obama’s ConnectED program and includes two parts: securing $250 million worth of e-books, as well as the ConnectED Library Challenge.
Major publishers including: Macmillan, Simon& Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Bloomsbury and HarperCollins, among others have agreed to donate $250 million worth of e-books available to libraries as part of the program. In addition, nonprofits and libraries have teamed up on an app that will distribute materials from the public domain.
To help get these digital materials into the hands of kids, the White House has launched the ConnectED Library Challenge, a commitment by more than 30 communities to get every student to sign up for a library card. In addition, The New York Public Library and FirstBook are collaborating with Digital Public Library of America to help the effort to actually get these e-books into the hands of young readers by helping patrons match their reading levels and interests.