President Obama on Thursday will announce a strategy for providing 10,000 free e-books to children lacking financial resources.
Obama will announce the initiative from the Anacostia Library in Southeast Washington, D.C., according to Reuters. It will feature $250 million in e-books committed by multiple publishers for the program.
“If we’re serious about living up to what our country is about, then we have to consider what we can do to provide opportunities in every community, not just when they’re on the front page, but everyday,” said Jeff Zients, Obama’s top economic adviser, Reuters reported.
A White House statement said Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Hachette were some of the major publishing houses involved with the plan.
They would provide students with immediate access to age-appropriate titles in their e-book catalogs, it added.
Obama will additionally announce that the New York Public Library is developing an e-reader app for delivering available works to participating youths.
Volunteers from the Digital Public Library of America will curate the titles for appropriate audiences, the White House statement concluded.
Zients told Reuters that the new program builds on pre-existing initiatives upgrading Internet services in libraries and schools. Those service improvements were implemented via private sector grants, he added.
“It’s very different than from our generation,” said Cecilia Muñoz, Obama’s domestic policy adviser, according to Reuters.
“More and more, you’re going to be seeing kids using devices, and what we’re doing is making sure that there’s more books available on those devices,” she added.
The president will also urge community libraries to plot new campaigns for enrolling local students.
The White House said this was a critical part of the program, given participating students need access to computers or e-reader devices to read available titles.