December 17, 2017

Controversy Continues as Proposed IDPF/W3C Merger Comes to a Vote

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the trade and standards organization responsible for the EPUB standard for ebooks, on October 14 asked members to begin voting on a proposed merger with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international organization that oversees standards for the web. Voting is currently scheduled to continue through November 4, but on October 19, an online petition was launched demanding that the voting stop.

NYPL, Benetech Partner to Offer 370,000 Accessible Ebooks to Print Disabled

The New York Public Library in December announced a new partnership with nonprofit Benetech, and the organization’s Bookshare solution, to provide print disabled patrons with access to more than 370,000 accessible ebooks through NYPL and the Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Although Bookshare provides free access to its collection for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities through an award by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, access to the collection for qualifying adults, seniors, and other non-students generally requires payment of a $25 setup fee and a $50 annual subscription fee. The partnership to provide free access to library patrons through NYPL is Bookshare’s first such partnership with a U.S. library, and Benetech officials have stated that the organization is hoping to establish similar agreements with public libraries throughout the U.S.