On National Library Advocacy Day, Sony Introduces Reader Library Program
Library Advocacy Day Rally participants author Marilyn Johnson, North Carolina State Librarian Mary Boone, ALTAFF Past President Peggy Barber, and ALTAFF Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed
Sony made the surprising and welcome announcement this morning that “today, in recognition of National Library Advocacy Day, Sony is reaffirming its commitment to work with libraries by unveiling the Reader Library Program.”
As librarians rallied on Capitol Hill, Sony pledged that the program “will provide public libraries across the country with training on digital reading devices, educational materials to help readers learn about the eBooks and digital texts available to them through their local libraries, and digital reading devices for library staff use.”
Program components include a training program for library staff, Sony’s Readers for use by library staff, educational materials to provide readers background materials on digital reading devices, and biannual update sessions designed to keep libraries and their staff current with the latest developments in digital reading content, format, and device.
“Sony is a strong advocate of local libraries, which serve as open centers for literature, knowledge and community learning,” the announcment went on to say. “Based on this advocacy and its belief of open access to content, Sony’s Digital Reading Division has worked closely with libraries across the nation to enable the lending of digital books to thousands of library members through the Library Finder application on its Reader Store. The Reader Library program will build on this by ensuring that local libraries are able to keep their doors open 24 hours a day, keeping them relevant within local communities in the digital age.
I spoke briefly with Sony spokesperson Leanne Drown, who said libraries that have worked with Sony in the past on other media projects are likely to be the first candidates for the Reader Library program and that an undetermined number of partners will be chosen, so libraries are welcome to contact Annie Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is in charge of the program at Sony, to express interest in participating.