Coming soon to a web browser near you: the Bloomsbury Library Online

Our colleagues at Bloomsbury have been working on a new service for libraries which should equip them for the challenges of the 21st century. The result? A digital project, called the Bloomsbury Library Online, which is in association with Exact Editions and goes live on 4 May 2009.

As a user you’ll be able to access the Bloomsbury Library Online from public library terminals or indeed any web browser (including those on your iPhone or BlackBerry) anytime, anywhere in the UK. I’ve had a sneak preview of the service and this is what I found…

The books there are bestsellers such as The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (by Kate Summerscale) and the Death of Vishnu (Manil Suri), so you won’t be hard-pushed to find titles of interest. Books are to be organised into ‘themed shelves’ such as book group titles or international fiction (which strikes me as more like being in a bookshop than sorting through the Dewey Decimal classification), so you can browse intuitively until you find something that grabs you.

Because it’s online, you’re not restricted to being linear about your reading. A lot like making the switch from video to DVD, this means that yes, you can read your novel in a straightforward way (of course) but you can also search text (of either your selected book or all the titles), access author videos, reviews and press features, and link to printable reading group guides – all the sorts of add-ons we’ve increasingly come to expect in the digital age.

Claire Fogg

(Publisher, Yearbooks, A&C Black)

Read more in the official press release about the Bloomsbury Library Online at Book2book

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3 Comments

Filed under Digital publishing

3 responses to “Coming soon to a web browser near you: the Bloomsbury Library Online

  1. Pingback: Why publishers should be wary of the digital book era « Being Connected by Ian Fogg

  2. I love the idea of offering digital versions to libraries.

    Will people be able to borrow digital books and read them from their home computer, or will access be within the library building itself?

  3. Yes, remote access will be possible for library card holders, who’ll be able to log into the library’s digital collection. But no one, whether in the library or remote, can download any files. It’s all for online viewing only.

    Claire