MN Writes MN Reads announced this week the availability of over 4,000 comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials as part of an innovative program to make this content freely available to all residents of Minnesota throughout the summer. This project is a collaboration with 9 other states and is intended to provide easy access to digital resources while also supporting statewide summer reading programs for all ages during the COVID-19 period. More eBooks will be released throughout the summer from additional children’s, comic book, and science fiction publishers.
“Firstly, we want to thank our valuable publishing partners who generously took the lead on driving the creation of this program,” said BiblioLabs CEO, Mitchell Davis. “We have worked on innovative eBook models at the state level for years and this shines a light on the close collaborations between publishers and libraries that are emerging today. This program has the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people and highlights the role libraries have always served in being a provider of resources in a time of need.”
All of the eBooks are available in an unlimited simultaneous use model and served to patrons via geolocation. “In the modern era, delivering and using statewide eContent resources should be as easy as catching an Uber, and we are proud to work with statewide library organizations and publishers adapting the digital library experience to modern user expectations. This model creates seamless support of information deserts throughout the state and ensures all states can provide a baseline eBook collection to all residents,” Davis added. The VLCC collection will be free to libraries and patrons through August 31st, serving as a valuable tool in statewide summer reading program support for all libraries.
MN Writes MN Reads is also participating in a VLCC online event, to be held on July 30th, featuring interactive sessions with leading talent as well as librarians talking about grassroots graphic novel creation and local zine publishing programs available through public libraries. More details on the online event will be released soon.
The event is a collaboration with the canceled CoMIXgraphicCON, part of the Twin Cities Teen Lit Con. “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. They reacted quickly and we are now in the process of re-organizing around the new virtual format,” said Sarah Hawkins, Project Manager at the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA).
To access the comic and graphic novel collection and learn more, visit: https://mn-comics.biblioboard.com.