SimplyE - The Library E-Reader App

What is it?
SimplyE is a library-developed, open source app built to simplify the e-book experience for public library patrons. It:

  1. Avoids the frustration of DRM (Digital Rights Management)
  2. Searches multiple e-book services simultaneously
  3. Provides an accessible reading experience

How can I make this work for my patrons?
There are two ways you can provide this app for your patrons:

  1. Implement the service yourself. This application is designed to run in the cloud and will require technical expertise for implementation. An overview of the process is available on the Library Simplified site.
  2. Find an organization that will implement the service for you. Amigos Library Service is currently testing SimplyE and we expect to provide this service for members and non-members shortly.

How does Amigos Library Services fit into this?
Since the beginning of 2017, Amigos has been working with New York Public Library, the primary developer, and Minitex, the primary developer for an academic version of the app. In the summer of 2017, we received funding from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records for creation of the infrastructure needed to support the app and began to document it for other organizations.

In September 2017, we received an IMLS grant through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to continue work on the app and deepen documentation. We intend on providing SimplyE as a service available to Amigos members as well as non-Amigos members.

Where do the ebooks come from?
The e-books provided through the SimplyE app come from your existing collections! It connects to OverDrive, Axis 360, Bibliotheca, and Biblioboard and RB Digital (ebooks only for now) and provides results in a single list.

Will it work on my phone, tablet, or desktop?
Patrons can download and install this app from both the Apple and Google Play Stores. A web-based version is in development.

We use an e-book service that isn’t listed. Am I out of luck?
We are always adding more services. Contact us so we can add it to the list.

Does the app work only with e-books?
You can incorporate Novelist and soon will be able to provide e-audio from RB Digital.

How about accessibility?
SimplyE was written with accessibility in mind. It includes basic functionality such as changing background and text color, font sizes, and font families.

Also available is text to speech, rendering for dyslexics and those that are color blind, and VoiceOver. For more details, go to the project page on accessibility.

Is this app finished?
Definitely not! This app is under active development. Both functionality and e-book services are being added. If you are looking for something specific, contact us.

Can I see a demonstration of SimplyE?
Not yet. The functionality changes frequently so keeping up to date is a challenging. When ready, we plan to post a video demonstration and provide free webinars.

What about academic libraries? Is there anything here for us?
Work is being done at Minitex to expand the functionality of the app for academic libraries.

What can I do now?
Let us know you are interested by contacting us. We will keep you up to date as the service evolves.

What if I have more questions?
Send them to SimplyE@amigos.org.

Funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (2018)

Institute of Museum and Library Services logoTexas State Library & Archives Commission logo