PRH UK extends e-book trial to schools

PRH UK extends e-book trial to schools

Penguin Random House (PRH) UK today (8th December) said it is making its children’s and Young Adult e-books available for school libraries through the e-book platform RM Books.

The news came only hours after the publisher said it was making its full catalogue of 23,500 e-books available for public libraries to lend during a year-long trial.

Duncan Bruce, head of group digital sales and channel development for PRH UK, said the publisher’s inclusion of school libraries in the trial “emphasises the crucial role that school libraries play in developing an early love of reading in our children”.

Teachers and school librarians can now access any PRH children’s or YA e-book, whether that be a text book or fiction, for a set time frame (which could last from seven days up to three years). They can allocate books to individuals or groups, integrate PRH titles into their existing e-book libraries, and track how long pupils spend reading the books. They can also add notes, web links, videos or images.

Alan Hodgin, head of RM Books, said: “So many schools using RM Books have students specifically asking for PRH titles within their schools e-library, so we’re delighted this is now possible. Teachers have seen dramatic improvements in students’ reading levels and attitudes to reading when using RM Books; PRH UK titles within a school’s e-book library can only increase engagement.”

On announcing the wider e-lending scheme earlier today, deputy c.e.o. Ian Hudson said the move was “designed to uphold the important role that libraries play in supporting literacy, while recognising that new technologies had changed some people’s reading habits”.

He added that the scheme would be for an “initial year-long trial, to assess market impact”, but was being launched “with a view to rolling it out permanently, if successful”.