Like the United States and Canada, Australia has struggled with ebook prices that are too high, platforms with unpredictable fees, and licenses that are hostile to libraries, users, and authors alike. Inspired by various examples in the US (the Internet Archive, Douglas County [Colo.] Libraries, Califa Group), the good people at New South Wales established their own server in a pilot program at two public libraries, Leichhardt Library and Parramatta City Library. With software provided by Odilo, they began building a unique collection of digital content.
And it is unique. Indyreads’ virtual bookshelf topics include:
- Australian authors
- Australian fiction
- local history books from various publishers
- national law and citizenship
- “indy ideas” (featuring everything from prison letters to studies on pornography)
- much more, including children’s books and the usual commercial offerings