In July, the New York Public Library rolled out its much-anticipated e-book app, SimplyE, which seeks to solve a problem that has plagued library e-book users by reducing the once-cumbersome process of checking out library e-books to three clicks or fewer. Make no mistake, the app represents a major step forward for library e-book lending.
The app comes after years of complaints from library e-book users forced to wrestle with clunky interfaces and processes for e-book lending, all powered by a growing array of vendors. Anyone remember the Tools of Change conference in 2011, when librarian Katie Dunneback famously demonstrated the 21 steps a library patron needed to navigate before being able to access a library e-book? The SimplyE app now puts all of that aside, providing users one simple interface for all ePub-based library e-books, regardless of vendor (such as OverDrive, Bibliotecha, and Baker & Taylor).