As people around the world adopt social distancing measures to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Public Library has an app that allows anyone with a library card (and an iOS or Android phone) to “borrow” any of the 300,000 e-books in the collection.
SimplyE is The New York Public Library’s free e-reader app that makes it easier than ever to borrow e-books. It is available on the App Store or Google Play.
Developed by NYPL as an open source initiative, now other libraries can provide a consolidated and clear view of their e-book collections.
A library official said:
“We know the Library is a critical resource for New Yorkers of all ages, which is why we have taken steps to expand access to our online offerings while our branches are temporarily closed.
Apply for a library card through SimplyE to gain access to an array of digital resources, including e-books and audiobooks, as well as databases available from home during our period of closure.”
Surge in demand
To keep up with the surge in demand for their ebooks, NYPL has introduced a limit on how many books you can e-check out. The limit is 3 titles per person; from children’s books to best sellers.
In a statement, the library said: “Please note that as a result of the Library’s temporary closure, we have already seen a surge in our e-book usage and anticipate further increases. In order to maintain the best possible service for the greatest number of users, we have therefore placed a new limit on e-book checkouts as a way to increase the number of books available and reduce wait times for all patrons. This includes checkouts through the Library’s main e-reader app, SimplyE, as well as through other apps used to access NYPL e-books, such as Overdrive/Libby and Cloud Library.”