The American Samoan State Library has selected the SimplyE eBook platform, hosted by LYRASIS, to make more than 6,000 titles available to all citizens of the unincorporated U.S. territory of American Samoa.

Atlanta, GA – May 5, 2020 – In partnership with DPLA (the Digital Public Library of America) the SimplyE eBook platform will be deployed with an inclusive and diverse and balanced eBook collection curated to best serve the American Samoan population including over 6,000 free unlimited access eBooks, which you can see on the DPLA Open Bookshelf. For Justin Maga, State Librarian for American Samoa and leaders of Feleti Barstow Public Library, the flexibility to work with multiple eBook vendors and publishers through one integrated platform is perhaps the most intriguing SimplyE feature. Having it all in one place makes for easier access and a more user-friendly experience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to strengthen citizens’ ability to access open content. The SimplyE eBook platform provides controls that also enhance cognitive and disability accessibility.  

Justin Maga emphasizes the importance of increasing digital access across the American Samoan archipelago with SimplyE particularly at this time. “American Samoa will benefit immensely as we will be able to bring our library into the homes of our island community. As the only public library in American Samoa centrally located on the main island of Tutuila; we often struggle with services on the western and eastern tips of the island. Our less populated outer islands that lack library services due to remote locations will also have e-services at their disposal as well.”

Justin’s vision for enhanced access and decisiveness in working with LYRASIS in response to the COVID outbreak echoes the long ago American Samoan response to the 1918 flu pandemic where deaths were prevented because the Governor understood the magnitude of the situation and the high stakes consequences of the decisions they were entrusted to make as the contagion became widespread. The State Library role is one of support and compliance with governmental emergency declarations and guidelines. The LYRASIS SimplyE service offers American Samoan citizens of all ages open access to knowledge and learning from the safety of their homes.

About LYRASIS and SimplyE

SimplyE is a technology developed at NYPL (New York Public Library), based on open source technology and designed to make access to eBooks easier, eliminate the disintermediation of the library in the current eBook delivery system and provide a better patron service experience through mobile technologies, adherence to accessibility standards and more library control. 

Robert Miller, LYRASIS CEO explains, “LYRASIS, the Digital Public Library of America, and the New York Public Library are focused on the twin themes of improving experience for the user and enhancing the local strengths of public libraries. We are so pleased to join in partnership of the American Samoan State Library with this non-profit supported eBooks solution.”

LYRASIS began offering the SimplyE platform as a hosted service for improving eBook content access among libraries and their providers to meet a growing need expressed by public library leaders looking for an affordable solution for eBook management that simultaneously would enable the creation of a diverse catalog of materials to meet the needs of all the patrons they serve. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided funding to NYPL and its partner libraries and consortia to begin development of Simply E in 2013.

In 2018, the three program principles, DPLA, NYPL and LYRASIS, entered into a partnership to further develop, host and maintain the platform and deliver content through a new non-profit marketplace operated by the DPLA. The LYRASIS  “Library Simplified Hosting” coupled with the SImplyE app and the DPLA Exchange marketplace creates a library controlled national platform for a turnkey eBook service that is interoperable with existing commercial offerings already in place at libraries. This non-profit solution, allows libraries to take control of their eContent shelves, patron privacy, and merge open content with that from many commercial providers, and deliver it in SimplyE. Hosting SimplyE with LYRASIS makes it turnkey and seamless.