ProQuest, NYU Pilot Program Offers Students and Faculty Instant Access to 150,000 Ebooks Via App

NYU Libraries and ProQuest launch pilot program to offer the NYU community
an additional, user-friendly option for accessing and reading ebooks

New York University (NYU) Libraries and EdTech leader ProQuest have launched a pilot project that will make over 150,000 scholarly titles available to students and faculty via their mobile devices. NYU users can access coursebooks, ebooks, and reference works from major publishers through an e-reader app called SimplyE.

Available on both Apple and Android devices, SimplyE is a free-to-use service that allows library users to browse, borrow and read ebooks on their phones or tablets. Based on open-source technology and developed through a non-profit collaboration between the New York Public Library (NYPL) and LYRASIS, SimplyE is widely used in public libraries. ProQuest is the first ebook platform provider to collaborate with academic libraries and the open-source community on the SimplyE app.

The pilot with ProQuest and NYU is designed to introduce aggregated content to academic users through SimplyE and will reduce the number of logins for NYU community members, creating an improved user experience. Since the app runs on library-developed open-source software, feedback from academic users during the pilot program – currently running until August 31 – will also help develop and improve new functionality in the app, which will benefit all library users.

“For years, the NYU library has offered access to a wealth of titles through the ProQuest Ebook Central™ platform, and now – thanks to this pilot – our students and faculty can get this valuable content in a new and highly accessible way,” said Bill Maltarich, Head of Collection Development at NYU Libraries. “Over the past year, with the increase in virtual teaching and learning, usage of our ProQuest ebooks has increased 140 percent. We’re always looking for ways to serve our users better, and we hope this pilot gives them another path to accessing the titles they need.”

“At ProQuest, we believe that the power of choice is critical for libraries and library users, and SimplyE offers a new choice for NYU users who need ebooks anytime and anywhere,” said Audrey Marcus, Vice President of Product Management at ProQuest. “We’re honored to work with NYU and LYRASIS to pilot the popular SimplyE technology with faculty and students, and look forward to turning the insights we gain from this pilot into better content and technology for libraries.”

Through the app, NYU users can also access ebook and audiobook collections from local public libraries, including New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library.

“I’ve been reading more ebooks from my public library, especially during the pandemic. I’m thrilled to now have access to so many NYU library ebooks in SimplyE,” said Harini Kannan, a first-year graduate student in NYU Steinhardt’s Sociology of Education program. “Almost all the books assigned in my current NYU class are available in my SimplyE app as well as through a web browser.”

“LYRASIS is focused on improving the experience for the user and enhancing the service libraries offer to their patrons,” said James English, Product Development Strategist at LYRASIS. “We’re working to bring the SimplyE infrastructure into more academic libraries, and this pilot with NYU and ProQuest will be a great way to assess the benefits to students and faculty. Through this pilot, we’re striving to put content in the hands of our users faster, and we’re excited to see the feedback from users and instructors.”


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