Explore Reading Arizona eBooks on National Readathon Day

By Laura Stone

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records is encouraging readers to participate in National Readathon Day, January 24 from noon to 4 p.m. More than 500 books are available from Reading Arizona, a new ebook service from the Arizona State Library compatible with iOS, Android, and Kindle tablets at www.ReadingArizona.org/.

National Readathon Day is an effort founded by Penguin Random House, the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, and Mashable to encourage literacy and raise funds to bring books to underserved communities. The founders are asking libraries, bookstores, and community centers to host reading get-togethers for participants, and to organize fundraising teams. Contact your local library for more information about events in your area.

“While the collection in Reading Arizona is still growing, there’s something for everyone: contemporary ebooks, digitized out-of-copyright works, and self-published ebooks,” said Joan Clark, State Librarian and Arizona State Library Director.

Books may be borrowed within the state simultaneously by multiple users. Readers decide how long to keep a title, rather than being tied to a traditional return date. Reading Arizona is powered by BiblioBoard, a content management system from BiblioLabs. The project is funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The collection includes early Arizona fiction and histories, as well as contemporary works by authors such as Jana Bommersbach, Edward Abbey, Jon Talton and James Sallis,” said Laura Stone, Digital Content Director. “I am especially pleased that we are able to include works from the University of Arizona Press,” she added.

Patrons accessing the website inside Arizona are able to see the collection and create a user account to mark favorites, download ebooks to an offline bookshelf, and offer ratings and comments. Once patrons create an account, they can access the site even when traveling outside the state. A “Getting Started” guide provides further instructions online.

Reading Arizona builds on Pima County Public Library’s Arizona Centennial project by the same name. The original project featured an interactive map highlighting 100 books about the state, which is still available to readers at the website. The website also includes a blog, Back Story with Reading Arizona, with more information about how the project was developed.

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records is a division of the Secretary of State. Through its branches, the State Library provides access to unique historical and contemporary resources, and statewide leadership to the library, archives and museum communities.

BiblioLabs, based in Charleston, SC, provides libraries with access to digital content—historical, contemporary or even the library’s own physical collections. With a focus on making the experience easy and fun for patrons, the BiblioBoard platform offers access through native apps on tablet devices and the Web. All content is curated into thematic collections and topical anthologies for easy browsing.

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