President Obama Announces eBook Program for Low-Income Children

I read about this a few days ago and knew I’d have to write about it here. Ya’ll know how the Big Five publishing companies hardly ever seem to be on the same page about anything? Well they’re all on board for this.

Here’s what’s happening. Publishers (Big Five included) are giving away $250 million worth of free eBooks through an app developed by the New York Public Library to young, low-income readers. Of course, it’s a little unfortunate that it’s eBooks and not printed books because we all know that these low-income households may not have internet access or an appropriate device to read these eBooks on.

Which is why the White House is also running a program through dozens of cities and counties across the country to get every student a library card. One of the goals of all of this, besides getting these children reading, is to get them into their neighborhood libraries. Because if they don’t have internet access or an eReader, then libraries can become that reading haven for them.

What do you think about the White House and major publishers working together on a program that can put a lot of eBooks into the hands of many children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them?

On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: The Beauty of Country Music.


14 thoughts on “President Obama Announces eBook Program for Low-Income Children

  1. Anything to get kids reading is great. Library cards are awesome and cost nothing.

    Ebooks are a fine idea, but as you mentioned, they aren’t going to work for everyone. My guess is that there will be a cost to families somewhere along the way.


  2. Hmmm. My first thought is that it’s a fantastic idea! But then there is the e-reader issue you mentioned. When low income families come into the picture there is a plethora of issues – aside from money – that come with the initial problem. Yes, we need to get those kids books! Yes, free is better! Yes, e-books are green and less expensive. But what about getting the kids to the library when gas or bus fair is an issue? Or parent initiative? Or education in general for the parents and future readers? I’m not being a downer. I truly believe these kids need this – I wish this program an amazing about of luck and success. Fingers crossed! Great post with lots of thinking required.


    • Well the aim of this new program is to get more kids reading. Sure there are difficulties involved with making that happen, but this program can’t solve every problem. I think it’s a good start and I can’t imagine a lot of good coming from this.


  3. When I was little I used to get to go to the library once a month and I would borrow as many books as I could carry. Borrowing books is greener than buying books at least. I don’t know if having an e-reader would get more kids reading. However if it is successful in getting kids reading I’m for it.


  4. I agree with a lot of what Megan says. It’s a great initiative but some of the groundwork needs preparing before kids will go the library or pick up a printed or e-book. But as well as educational institutions here are lots of not-for-profit organisations working on early literacy programs – such as United Way which is active in about 42 countries round the world.


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