State Libraries Launch Virtual Library Comic Convention, Geolocation-based Digital Collections with BiblioLabs

In partnership with 10 state libraries, BiblioLabs has announced that more than 4,000 digital comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials will be available for free, unlimited simultaneous use through August 31. In addition, the library partners will be participating in a new Virtual Library Comic Convention scheduled to be held on July 30.

VLCC logoIn partnership with 10 state libraries, BiblioLabs has announced that more than 4,000 digital comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials will be available for free, unlimited simultaneous use through August 31.

In addition, the 10 state library partners—California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia—will be participating in a new Virtual Library Comic Convention (VLCC) scheduled to be held on July 30. The event is being developed in collaboration with CoMIXgraphicCON, part of the annual Twin Cities Teen Lit Con that was canceled in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will include interactive sessions with authors and artists, as well as librarians discussing publishing programs at public libraries.

“When we had to cancel our event, we reached out to BiblioLabs to see if this project might help fill the gap for us and for other canceled events across Minnesota,” Sarah Hawkins, project manager at the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA), explained in an announcement. “They reacted quickly and we are now in the process of reorganizing around the new virtual format.” Additional details will be announced soon.

The collection of comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials is available through BiblioLabs’ biblioboard app or browser-based platform, and users are authenticated via geolocation, so anyone using a smartphone, tablet, or computer located within one of the 10 participating states can easily access these materials. Users are not required to create a profile or log in, but doing so will allow them to add notes, create bookmarks, save favorites, enable syncing, and more.

Veronda Pitchford, assistant director of the Califa Group, a nonprofit library membership consortium of more than 230 libraries in California, recently worked with BibloLabs to launch a separate collection of more than 5,300 ebooks available via geolocation. Califa is also participating in this new partnership, and Pitchford told LJ that the ease of access has been crucial during coronavirus-related branch closures.

“Given the nature of this crisis, e-content is the way to go,” Pitchford said, praising BiblioLabs as a partner that has been “committed to creating seamless access” to digital content. Califa and its member libraries have been raising awareness of this and other e-content through social media, posters on the doors of temporarily closed branches, and signs at local businesses such as grocery stores.

Pitchford added that “the crisis has really brought to light how important we are to the people we serve,” and that she was “keenly aware” that e-content doesn’t serve the needs of all patrons, particularly those who rely on library Wi-Fi and public computers. But until branches are able to fully reopen, partnerships such as these are facilitating virtual book groups and expanding the options available for summer reading programs.

“We’re hoping to deepen those relationships formed during this crisis to create more engagement and partnerships to expand access to the general public,” Pitchford said.

State library organizations interested in participating in VLCC or offering access to the digital comics, graphic novels, and children’s collections through the end of August can contact the company here.

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Matt Enis

menis@mediasourceinc.com

@MatthewEnis

Matt Enis (matthewenis.com) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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Paula Marie Bianchi

Has New York State Library System Joined this collaboration?

Posted : Jul 09, 2020 05:19


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