Give Away some Ebooks

A couple weeks ago, I saw a pretty cool idea at the Denver International Airport, and thought it could be adapted to libraries.

1st Bank had some large advertisements up in the airport, giving away free ebooks (see the pic in this post – this was one of two signs I saw). All you needed was a smartphone with a QR Code reader – aim and read the code, and you were directed to download a free ebook (there was also a button to open a new banking account).

Pretty ingenious, if you ask me. Just guessing here, but I’m pretty sure the only books I saw were “free” out-of-print classics. For most people – people who are stuck at the airport with nothing much to do – what a cool idea! Give em a book (even if it’s freely available online), and brand it as your business.

How can this work for a library?

Why not copy this idea? Use a QR Code, put up a sign at the mall or the grocery store, and offer a “free” ebook (maybe something legally free from Project Gutenberg). Send the user to a mobile webpage, branded as your library – with a link to the ebook, and some info about your other cool services.

In essence, it looks like the library is giving away a free ebook – that works with multiple ereaders! Even those pesky Amazon Kindles that don’t play well with libraries.