Now that we’re all stuck at home, people are finding themselves with a lot of free time on their hands. If you’re a big reader or always wanted to make time to broaden your literary horizons, the Internet Archive has just released the National Emergency Library that includes more than 1.4 million books for free.
No more waiting lists. While many libraries offer digital copies of the books they have, they often come with long wait times as limited copies are able to be “checked out” by users at any one time. Not so with the National Emergency Library—if you find a book you want to read, you can do so right away!
The National Emergency Library is a pretty big deal. The nearly 1.4 million books it includes were previously only available to libraries and schools and it consists of a collection that’s recently been digitized and made available to the general public free of cost. It’s only been released because the US is currently in a state of emergency. The collection was put together by Boston librarians and includes everything from Phillips Academy Andover, Marygrove College, Trent University, and more than a million other books from libraries around the world.
The Internet Archive is filling a much-needed gap. While brick and mortar schools and libraries are closed, the National Emergency Library is filling that gap. As the Internet Archive explained in a recent blog post, the Library is a “response to the scores of inquiries from educators about the capacity of our lending system and the scale needed to meet classroom demands because of the closures.”
It’s only available until June 30. As you can imagine, the National Emergency Library is only really needed in emergencies, so the Internet Archive plans to close it on June 30 or whenever the US is no longer in a state of emergency, whatever date comes first.
You probably won’t find the latest and greatest books on there. The Library is meant to provide previously non-digitized books to readers while libraries are closed, so if you’re looking for mainstream literature or new releases, you probably won’t find it here. However, if you’re a bit of a book geek and want to dig deep on some different reads, this is the place for you. You can access the National Emergency Library HERE.
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