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New York Public Library: A digital institution

Who knew that the venerable institution, The New York Public Library, was one of the most progressive public organizations to enter the digital age? News.com reports that the NYPL has started a number of online programs fostering education and equal access to information.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on
Who knew that the venerable institution, The New York Public Library, was one of the most progressive public organizations to enter the digital age? News.com reports that the NYPL has started a number of online programs fostering education and equal access to information.

The most recent addition to the library is the eCollection - a catalog of free downloadable content including movies, foreign films, documentaries, children's programs, IMAX features and filmed live stage performances. All are available with a NYC library card. Patrons need to download software from OverDrive and can generally copy the files to portable devices during the loan period. OverDrive is only compatible with Windows PCs.

New additions to the eCollection: "MC: Why We Do It," Katherine Hepburn in "The Glass Menagerie," and "To the Limit," an IMAX title. The audio section includes old Jack Benny radio programs and "True North" by Jim Harrison.

Partnering with Google in 2004, the library is currently working to bring full texts of public domain books on the Web. In March 2005, library card holders could access a gallery of more than 450,000 low-resolution images from the library achives, or order high-resolution ones online. And in 2005, it launched HomeworkNYC, an online homework support for NYC school children 24 hours a day.

"HomeworkNYC.org brings together a wide range of information in one easy-to-use site. It helps students pinpoint the answers they need, and because it has been developed by a team of librarians and educators, young researchers can trust that the information is thorough and reliable. We are deeply grateful to The Wallace Foundation for helping New York City's libraries establish the site and provide an important resource for local students."said Susan Kent, Director and Chief Executive of The Branch Libraries, The New York Public Library in a press release.
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