The Palace Project Launches New Platform and App to Enable Equitable E-content Access
The Palace Project (“Palace”), the nonprofit library-centered platform and e-reader app for digital content and services, announced its official launch today.
Informed by librarians and supported by a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment from the Knight Foundation, The Palace Project is an easy-to-use platform for the management and delivery of ebooks, audiobooks and other e-content and puts libraries at the center of their communities’ digital experience.
The Palace Project’s open-source system empowers librarians to manage collections, hosting and circulation in a single app, while protecting patron privacy and strengthening libraries’ direct relationships with their patrons. The Palace App, available for iOS and Android, allows libraries to serve all their e-content—from all major vendors including OverDrive, Baker and Taylor, Bibliotheca, and Bibliolabs—to patrons in one easy-to-use interface.
“This community-driven initiative is informed by library values, and ensures an option focused on library needs for maximizing access to e-content offerings for patrons,” commented Michele Kimpton, Senior Director of The Palace Project. “Our main objective is to support the mission of public libraries by increasing equitable access to e-content and carrying the relationship between library and patron into the virtual realm.”
The Palace Project team negotiates directly with publishers to make a variety of unique and flexible licensing models available to libraries via Palace Marketplace, the only nonprofit e-content marketplace. Titles from the five major publishers are offered in the Marketplace, as well as from Amazon Publishing and hundreds of independent publishers. Flexible licensing terms are available on thousands of Marketplace titles, allowing libraries to maximize their budgets and provide access to a diverse range of content beyond the bestsellers.
“California is excited about its partnership with LYRASIS and working together to make it easier for Californians to access all the ebooks they want,” said California State Librarian Greg Lucas. “Ebooks are becoming more and more popular but they’re also expensive. Creating a statewide e-Library with LYRASIS ensures all Californians have access to the ebooks they want – and need.”
A division of LYRASIS, working in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and funded by a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment by the Knight Foundation, The Palace Project is committed to building and expanding a digital future for libraries and their patrons. Palace already serves more than 100 libraries and is currently onboarding libraries in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.
“The pandemic accelerated libraries’ move to digital services to meet people where they are with equitable access to information,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of the Knight Foundation. “The Palace Project is a transformative opportunity to put librarians back at the center of connecting people to information. Having digital access to knowledge is more important than ever to build informed and engaged communities.”
Drawing on the long tradition of libraries as community centers of citizenship and engagement, The Palace Project name was chosen to highlight the central role libraries play in public life and the idea of public libraries as “Palaces for the People.
The Palace Platform – Nonprofit, Library-Centered
- Free, easy-to-use patron e-reader for iOS and Android
- No personal data is collected
- Retain identity and branding
- Provide access to all e-content from multiple sources via one interface
- Customize patron experience and drive collection use, enhance relationships
- Seamless connection to collection via Palace app
- Curate and manage e-content from multiple providers
- Manage user authentication process
- Create custom e-content lists for patrons
- The Big 5 and Amazon Publishing
- Nonprofit e-content marketplace
- Flexible licensing models maximize budgets and offerings, ensure fair author compensation
Systems Implementation & Hosting
- Home of The Palace Project
- Provides interoperable, end-to-end system based on open-source codebase
- Provides onboarding services, low-cost frontline service support
- Manages software setup and configuration, administers cloud-based hardware
About The Palace Project
The Palace Project is a suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and their patrons. Funded by a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment from the Knight Foundation, The Palace Project is a division of LYRASIS, working in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
LYRASIS is a global, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to support enduring access to the world’s shared academic, scientific, and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions, and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums, and knowledge communities worldwide. LYRASIS organizational and staff values are communication, respect, collaboration, impact, and service. To learn more, visit www.lyrasis.org.
DIGITAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF AMERICA (DPLA)
Digital Public Library of America amplifies the value of libraries and cultural organizations as trusted sources of shared knowledge. DPLA fulfills its mission by collaborating with partners to accelerate the adoption of innovative tools and ideas to empower and equip libraries in making public information more accessible. To learn more, visit www.dp.la.
Meg McCroskey Blum