Starting this year, K-12 schools around the country will be able to take advantage of an on-demand eBook lending service offered by Minneapolis-area’s Brain Hive, LLC. The service, called Brain Hive after the company that originated it, will offer unlimited access to a book collection valued at over $100,000. Each student at a participating school will be able to borrow a book without there being a limit on the number of copies allowed to circulate at one time. In exchange, the school will be billed $1.00 for every book taken out.
Schools can join the program for free, and since the service was first announced this June, more than 100 schools from all over the country have already declared their intention to join. The company expects that hundreds more will also sign up over the next several months.
The lending program was developed in partnership with Impelsys, one of the largest electronic content delivery specialists. Brain Hive will be the first eBook rental service that operates on the on-demand model rather than on the model currently being used by library eBook providers like OverDrive which limit the number of copies of a book an institution is allowed to lend out at the same time. Signing up for Brain Hive will allow schools to supplement their own library collections with thousands of fiction and non-fiction titles including teaching resources, printable activities and Accelerated Reader quizzes from Renaissance Learning.
Brain Hive includes titles from respected children’s trade and school library publishers including Random House Children’s Books, Open Road Integrated Media, Charlesbridge Publishing, Lee & Low Books, Lerner Publishing Group, Andersen Press USA, Gecko Press, The Creative Company, The Kane Press, Red Chair Press, and Stoke Books. Brain Hive will release dozens of new titles and bring on new publishers every month offering a dynamic, continually updated content library for schools.
A program like Brain Hive seeks to exploit the gaps that exist in the eBook market, especially when it comes to issues of accessibility, availability and affordability. By signing up for Brain Hive’s a-la-carte mode of book lending, schools don’t have to spend their limited dollars stocking their libraries with books that the students won’t need or use. Instead, money will only spent on books that students actually check out and read. An on-demand borrowing program allows schools access to a huge selection of books and materials without the attendant investment risk.
“With Brain Hive, you pay for what you use and buy just what you need. It’s an out-of-the box and creative pricing model that sets a new standard.” said Carolyn Foote, district librarian, Eanes ISD in Austin, Texas, and Brain Hive advisory team member.
Brain Hive was designed for use in school and at home using a web browser. The service is compatible with PC and Mac computers, as well as Android tablets and iPad® which has seen tremendous growth in the school market. Brain Hive will also have a native iPad® eReader App available for free download in the Apple App store