Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting to Project Gutenberg

Have you heard about Project Gutenberg? It is the oldest provider of eBooks, founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, who wanted to be able to store, search and retrieve what was in a public library. He began digitizing public domain texts and making them easily searchable. At this time, Project Gutenberg offers more than 46,000 books, for free, to anyone who has access to a computer or tablet or ereader. These books are from bona fide publishers, and they have been digitized and proof read by a corps of volunteers. Because all the books offered are in the public domain, they tend to be older titles. “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” and “Moby Dick” are examples of the most popular books on the site.

Ridgefield Library users now have an easier time searching for these classics since Project Gutenberg ebooks are now included in our catalog. For example, when searching for Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the Library catalog now shows that book is available in print, as a downloadable ebook from Overdrive, and as a downloadable ebook from Project Gutenberg.  Gutenberg books are not limited in how many people can check them out at the same time, so these titles, often found on high school reading lists, are available to as many patrons as want them in ebook format.  Just stop by the Adult Service Desk if you need help downloading them onto your device of choice.

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Dioro.  

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