In 2012, a group of Arizona librarians met to discuss some of the problems their institutions encountered while trying to meet the growing demand for e-content. They formed a working group to explore developing a statewide ebook platform that would complement existing library ebook systems and create a unique collection specifically catered to Arizonans’ interests.
Reading Arizona Ebooks is in good company with other libraries embarking on such ventures, including Douglas County Libraries, Califa Library Group, Massachusetts Library System, Kansas State Library, and Connecticut State Library. These libraries are all exploring new models for providing e-content to patrons, negotiating new relationships with publishers, and providing a platform for self-published authors to disseminate their work.
Reading Arizona Ebooks is unique because it will only feature books related to Arizona topics and themes. Many local libraries have thousands of wonderful ebooks spanning a variety of topics; Reading Arizona Ebooks will feature collections aimed specifically at Arizonans and their interests. Content will be comprised of three distinct collections: contemporary ebooks acquired from publishers; self-published ebooks; and Arizona Archival Ebooks, a collection of digitized out-of-copyright manuscripts held in Arizona archives. Ebooks will span a variety of topics and genres: history, travel, biography, fiction, anthropology, ethnic studies, law, gardening, and more. But each ebook will be united by one common character, Arizona.