Open Library, by

Open Library, by

Postby admin » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:01 am

Open Library
November 26, 2010



Subject: Over 1 Million Digital Books Now Available Free to the Print-Disabled

Associated Press Story

Press release:

More than doubling the number of books available to print disabled people of all ages, today the Internet Archive launched a new service that brings free access to more than 1 million books — from classic 19th century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials — now available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or are otherwise visually impaired.

“Every person deserves the opportunity to enhance their lives through access to the books that teach, entertain and inspire,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Bringing access to huge libraries of books to the blind and print disabled is truly one of benefits of the digital revolution.”

Kahle also announced that the Internet Archive will be investing in the growth of its virtual bookshelf by funding the digitization of the first 10,000 books donated. Individuals and organizations are welcome to donate their favorite book or a collection of books. Books in all languages welcome. To donate books visit:

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Blind people must have access to repositories of digital information if we are to reach our goal of becoming full and equal participants in society. Access to the books that have been scanned by the Internet Archive in a format accessible to the blind will be another step toward that goal. We are excited about continuing to work with Internet Archive to make access to more books a reality.”

The 1 million+ books in the Internet Archive’s library for print disabled, are scanned from hard copy books then digitized into DAISY — a specialized format used by blind or other persons with disabilities, for easy navigation. Files are downloaded to devices that translate the text and read the books aloud for the user to enjoy. To access books visit:

Jessie Lorenz is a 31 year old woman who was born blind and is the Associate Director of at the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco. She believes, “Knowledge is power – and like everyone else, blind and print disabled people need equitable access to books to help them be innovative, productive, contributing community members.”

Older books are available from the Internet Archive’s unencrypted DAISY library and modern books can be accessed by “qualified users” through their NLS key — an encrypted code provided by the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), that is dedicated to providing materials to the print disabled. Currently, over 800,000 people in the US are registered with the Library of Congress as being print disabled.

As of today, the Internet Archive offers over one million books for print disabled people. Other large libraries for the print disabled including NLS,, and Reading for the Blind & Dyslexic.

“This demonstrates why having open and public access to published works is so important,” said Kahle.

Ben Foss, President of Headstrong, an advocacy group for people with dyslexia said, “As dyslexic and print-disabled students scramble to complete their end-of-year research papers and projects, beginning today, there is a great new library of resources that will expand the tools these young people need to be successful in school and in life.”

By leveraging automated scanning and conversion processes, Internet Archive technicians can conduct a cost-efficient scan of more than one thousand books per day. Books are scanned at sites located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities in five countries. Most of the older scanned books have been reformatted for the print-disabled from broad digitizing projects. Scanned physical books came from the collections of over 150 libraries, most of which are in the Open Content Alliance, but others as well. The funding of those scanning projects is coming from foundations, corporations and governments.

Most of the older books have been scanned from library collections, with newer books having been donated to the Internet Archive by companies such as the online bookseller Alibris, libraries and individuals.

The print disabled collection of books are now available through the Archive’s new Open Library site (, which serves as a gateway to information about millions of hardcopy books and more than 1 million electronic books.

The Internet Archive will continually increase the number [of] books it makes available. They are currently seeking donations of books and ebooks from individuals, libraries and publishers. The Archive is announcing today its commitment to fund the scanning and automatic processing of the first 10,000 donated books. Any organization or individual that would like to make particular books or collections available are encouraged to donate them by sending them to the Internet Archive. For donations of large collections please contact the Internet Archive. Financial support is also welcome to expand the program.

To access all books, a United States resident with print disabilities must register with the Library of Congress .


The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded to build an Internet library. Its missions are to offer universal access to all knowledge and provide specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities. Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco California 94118,,,, +1-415-561-6767.

Press contact: Pattie Haubner
(914) 833-7093, (914) 275-2984

The Open Library Team

The guts of Open Library are operated upon by a small, dedicated team. Here's everyone (in alphabetical order):

Core Dev Team

Anand Chitipothu Engineer
Anand received his Masters in Computational Science from the Indian Institute of Science before becoming technical leader at Strand Life Sciences. Working full-time for Open Library from India, he is in charge of development for Infobase, our database system, and Infogami, our wiki software, and takes part in building many of the other pieces.

Jude Coelho Process Manager
Jude coordinates and translate the needs and wants of 33 global digitization centers into actionable projects for the technical team. He also writes code.

Raj Kumar Engineer
Raj writes open source software for the book scanning, BookServer, Open Library, and Petabox projects.

Robert Miller Global Director of Books
Robert manages the global books division. He wishes he had more time for pleasure reading!

Jessamyn C.West Library Specialist
Jessamyn has single handedly supported the user community by answering questions and guiding users to a more enjoyable on-line book reading experience.

Mike McCabe Engineer

Community Librarians

Jessamyn West
Coming off of ten years working as Community Manager/Director of Operations for, Jessamyn came here because she wanted to do more librarianing. She has an MLib. from the University of Washington and has published the book Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide and speaks frequently on fair use and digital inclusion issues. At Open Library she answers email, maintains the FAQ and tries to keep users happy.


Karen Coyle Metadata Czar
When we asked around for librarians we could trust on this project, everyone said the same thing: Karen Coyle. Coyle spent twenty years at the California Digital Library at the University of California before becoming a consultant. She's written papers on everything from catalog cards to RDF and her encyclopedic knowledge of the field is invaluable in designing our system.

Brewster Kahle Overseer
Kahle is the founder of WAIS, Alexa Internet, and Internet Archive, which he currently runs. He oversees the project, flies around the country promoting it, and cuts (some of) the checks.


Mike Ang BookReader Engineer
An engineer by trade and artist by aspiration, Michael came to the Internet Archive to further its goal of Universal Access To All Knowledge. In addition to a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada, Michael holds a Master's Degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and sports more than a few battle scars from Bay Area and Canadian startup companies. Michael developed the Internet Archive's online BookReader and Open Library lending system. The open source BookReader software is now used by the Library of Congress and other libraries.

Lance Arthur HTML & Pixel Wrangler
Lance has been running around virtually naked on the web since 1996. His personal site was instrumental in influencing the first generation of web designers to explore the limits of web design while he honed his writing skills by exposing way too much information about himself. He is happy his last name begins with A.

Ariel Backenroth Programmer
Ariel received his degree in Computer Science at Rice University. Most recently he comes from Metaweb Technologies where he was the lead engineer on the user interface for freebase, another massive open database.

Edward Betts Chief Data Munger
Edward has a long and storied career importing data for everything from travel agencies to television networks. And, when he comes home at night, he has a side project: importing data from recipe sites. So we're lucky to have him on our team, managing our monumental collection of data importing tasks.

Winnie Chen QA Master
Winnie discovered Mosiac while doing research to finish up a degree in Radio/TV from San Francisco State University. Between school, friends and community got sucked into the world wide web around 1993-1994. Around the same time I did an internship with Clement Mok and began working at various agencies (Organic Online, Razorfish, Frog Design, Fleischman Hillard, Interbrand). Currently attending San Jose State University's School of Information and Library Science part-time.

Daniel Giffin Programmer
After a career moving between computer science academia and computer science startups, Giffin was in charge of importing catalog data, as he worked for Open Library from New York. He designed our basic schema and wrote the initial importers for Library of Congress and other publisher data. He is now doing computer science research at Stanford University.

Noufal Ibrahim Engineer
Noufal is a freelance consultant and trainer based out of Bangalore who worked on the back end of the website. He is an active member of the Python programming language community in India and abroad.

Rebecca Malamud Designer
Malamud is the design genius behind,,,,, and dozens of other brilliantly named and designed sites. She works from Sixes, Oregon.

George Oates Project Lead, Designer
George has worked on the web since 1996. Before she joined the Open Library team, she was responsible for creating the Flickr Commons ( and was the award-winning lead designer of Flickr itself. Before that, she designed all sorts of web applications, from a booking system for a ballooning company to the public face of a bank in Australia.

Alexis Rossi Manager
Rossi has worked as a news content manager at ClariNet, the first online news aggregator, as editorial director at Alexa Internet, and in the collections group at Internet Archive. She squeezed data from publishers, code from programmers, and made sure all the servers ran on time.

Aaron Swartz Former Project Leader
The Open Library wouldn't exist without Aaron. He wrote the backbone of the system you see today. He has also worked on specs like RSS, startups like, and software projects like He worked from San Francisco to architect the site, put together the team, and attempt to keep things organized, and we couldn't have come this far without his crucial expertise.

solrize Search Programmer
One day, some other Archive people were trying to write a program using rm, the Unix utility to delete things, when they checked its main page. They quickly spun around. "Hey Paul," they asked. "Did you write rm?" "Oh yeah," Paul replied, with a dismissive wave of his hand. "But that was a long time ago." Paul worked from Internet Archive's offices in San Francisco to build our search engine and help with importing.


A.S.L. Devi contributed the AJAX autocomplete and other fun features.

Werner Popken contributed to the German translations and testing our i18n user interface.

Tommi Raivio contributed our review system.

Allan Jardine developed dataTables, and helped integrate some new features just for Open Library.

Simon Chetrit photographed the image we use on the home page.

What is Open Library?

Our goal is to provide a page on the web for every book ever published.

At its heart, Open Library is a catalog. The project began in November 2007 and has been inhaling catalog records from some of the biggest libraries in the world ever since. We have well over 20 million edition records online, provide access to 1.7 million scanned versions of books, and link to external sources like WorldCat and Amazon when we can. The secondary goal is to get you as close to the actual document you're looking for as we can, whether that is a scanned version courtesy of the Internet Archive, or a link to Powell's where you can purchase your own copy.

On a slightly more technical note, apart from that page being an online representation of a library catalog card, Open Library also gives people a URI for a work, an edition or author or other book-ish resource that can be used as a pointer and connector for information about books; a Uniform Resource Identifier indeed.

How is the Open Library different from Project Gutenberg?

Project Gutenberg is "the place where you can download over 30,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPhone, Kindle, Sony Reader or other portable device." Open Library's goal is to list every book -- whether in-print or out-of-print, available at a bookstore or a library, scanned or typed in as text. In other words, we provide access to all of Project Gutenberg's books but we have hundreds of thousands of others as well.

Have you heard of WorldCat? How is Open Library different?

Yes! We try to link through to WorldCat wherever possible to help you find a book you can actually borrow from a library near you.

A major difference between OCLC and the Open Library is that OCLC is building a catalog to share among libraries, while Open Library is building a catalog to share freely and openly with the public, with the hope that this will get more people involved in using libraries and, in the long run, generate new data that will be useful to the library community. Open Library links to the WorldCat catalog for any editions we have either an ISBN or an OCLC identifier for. This should help people find a copy of the book in their local library.

The Internet Archive and OCLC have discussed working together. The plans for Open Library have been actively shared with OCLC and its records are available to OCLC.

How do I sign up for Open Library?

To create your Open Library digital library card account, click the “sign up” link at the top right corner of our home page, You will be prompted to enter the following information:

Full name: (i.e. Jane Doe)
Username (i.e. janeqdoe)
Password: (your choice)
Email address: (

You must also check the box agreeing to the Open Library Terms of Use before continuing.

Click “sign up” when you are finished. You will receive an email requesting verification of your account. Click the link in the email and you will now be able to sign in and start using Open Library.

If you have trouble with the signup process please see our Troubleshooting section.

Once you are registered, click the “log in” link at the top right corner of any page. Enter your username and password. Your name will now appear as a link in the top right corner. Click on the link to display a drop-down menu; here you can edit your Profile, manage your Loans, manage the Lists you create, edit your Settings, or Log Out.

How can I contribute information to Open Library?

You can help build the Library. All you need to do is hit the EDIT button and start filling in the gaps.

We seek all sorts of details, from what the book is about to information about the physical appearance of the book itself (size, format, number of pages, and things like that).

Another sort of information we're very interested to collect is anything that connects Open Library records to other book sites out there on the Web. The easiest way to do this is to collect what are called "identifiers". If you're a software developer, you might be interested to read a bit more about using Open Library data.

Where can I see what other people are up to?

There's a ton of activity across Open Library each day, whether it's a visitor updating one of our entries or a bot making a bunch of batch updates. We've tried to make it so you can keep an eye on what's going in a few different ways:

Check out the "Around The Library" list on the footer of every page
Click on the "Recently" link at the top of the page to watch how the place is being updated
Click on any person's account name to see what they've been up to
On a per item basis, you can also delve into revision history. We note the last edit at the top of editable pages. You can view revision history as well, and even revert a record to a previous revision.

May I donate a book to be digitized and added to Open Library?

Yes, please do! Our parent organization, the Internet Archive, accepts donations of physical books, so, if you have books you'd like to donate, please visit our Book Drive page for instructions.

I wrote a book, and I have it in digital form. Can I make it readable on Open Library?

Yes! It's a three step process.

Create an account and upload your book to the Internet Archive (you will need to set up a second account to do this, you can't log in with your Open Library credentials).
Create a record for your item on Open Library by clicking the Add A Book link in the header and adding the proper information.
Add the Internet Archive ID to the Open Library record in the ID Numbers section. To do this, click Edit to edit the record, scroll down to the ID Numbers section and add the Internet Archive identifier which is the last part of the URL. As an example for this book, the Internet Archive ID is historiaephilipp02just. Adding this link will activate the "read" buttons. Make sure you click "save" at the bottom of the page when you are done adding the link to the Internet Archive.
For more information on the uploading process, please see this blog post about uploading and metadata.

I found a very old book in my basement. Do you want it?

You're welcome to donate books to the Internet Archive through our Book Drive program.

If you are an organization with a collection of material that you would like to donate to the Internet Archive (a registered library in the State of California), please send an email query to: info at

I have a book that I think might be worth something. Can you tell me what it's worth?

Unfortunately, we can not. We have no expertise in the valuation of books. You should try to find a website that specializes in used or rare books. Most communities have a used or rare book dealer, and they tend to be incredibly knowledgeable about old books. If you don't know of one, just ask at your favorite bookshop. You can also search for the book on a site like, to see if there are copies of the book on the market. The prices there will give you some sense of the book's value, but the value of rare books can only be determined by physical inspection.

Can you put me in touch with an author?

No. The Open Library team doesn't have any specific contact with any of the authors who have a presence on Open Library so we are unable to help you get in touch with them.

Just as every patron on Open Library has his or her own page, every author has his or her own page as well. Author pages provide background information and usually contain a link to the author's website. For example, here is Cory Doctorow's page on Open Library.

Can you tell me more about a particular book?

No. Everything we know is already on our site.

The hope is that people who are familiar with a book will help improve the record for that book. Some of our entries only have a title and author. If you see a gap in our records, we would love you to help make our records richer. Just click the edit button.

What you see is what you get on Open Library, and everyone (signed in or not) is encouraged to enrich a record with additional information from which we can all benefit.

Can I buy books from Open Library?

No. We don't have any books to sell, but we provide links when possible to online booksellers that might have the book (new or used). We also link to the website, that has a library locator tool for help in finding a copy of the book to borrow. If you find a book on Open Library that you would like to buy and there is no active bookstore link, try the website, which will search the Web for copies of that book for sale and at what price.

Can you send me a copy of a book?

No. But, you can download any ebook that we have available as full text in a variety of formats. Currently we offer over 1.7 million public domain books in PDF, ePub, DAISY, DjVu and ASCII text through our affiliation with the Internet Archive.
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