CHARLESTON, S.C. and ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 21 /PRNewswire/ --
BookSurge, an Amazon group (Nasdaq: AMZN) and leader in Print on Demand
services, and Kirtas Technologies, a world leader in high-quality
nondestructive book digitization, today announced a collaboration with
universities and public libraries to preserve thousands of rare and
inaccessible books from their collections and distribute them via
BookSurge's Print-on-Demand service. This collaboration, which will greatly
enhance the selection of rare and historic books for sale on Amazon.com and
other retail channels, represents a breakthrough approach to digitization
and preservation that will ensure the public will have access to these
works indefinitely via Print on Demand. This initiative will also help
these institutions fund their mission of preserving these vast literary
collections by offering a revenue source from the sales of content these
institutions own or that is in the public domain on Amazon.com. Kirtas will
provide economical, nondestructive scanning technology. In addition to
providing funding for their ongoing digitization efforts, this
collaboration gives libraries and universities complete control over what
is being scanned in their collections.
Emory University, University of Maine, Toronto Public Library, and
Cincinnati Public Library are the first organizations to enter into
agreements with Kirtas to make their rare-book collections available to a
readership that extends far beyond their physical geographies to include an
audience of millions of Amazon.com customers. This preservation effort is
the only method that allows university and public libraries to preserve
books and print them on demand as they are ordered. Participating
institutions retain full control over what is digitized, so they now have
an economical way to preserve, reproduce and distribute important works
that may be disappearing from their shelves.
"There are thousands of books that have been unavailable altogether or
incredibly difficult to find and access, so we're thrilled to be making
reproductions of these unique, collectible books available to millions of
Amazon.com customers," said David Symonds, general manager, BookSurge.
"And, by offering these works on Amazon.com and through other retail
channels, it gives new generations an easy way to find books they never
would have even known about, much less had access to. It's a winning
solution for libraries, research institutions and customers."
BookSurge and Kirtas now give research universities and public
libraries a viable way to cost-effectively and indefinitely extend the
shelf life and distribution capabilities of the unique book collections to
which they own the rights. These collections can now be re-created through
gentle scanning with Kirtas' state-of-the-art robotic technology -
capturing the scholarly and culturally significant content that might
otherwise be lost forever - and then printed on demand as Amazon customers
order using BookSurge technology.
"This is the first large-scale digitization initiative that puts the
research libraries and universities in full control of their content," said
Lotfi Belkhir, CEO and founder of Kirtas. "Our new initiative with
BookSurge enables organizations to rapidly and safely digitize their
invaluable collections at the highest quality standards and offers them a
sustainable business model that extends their reach far beyond the physical
confines of their institutions."
Print-on-demand books purchased by Amazon.com customers are available
for shipping within hours after they are ordered. Customers who choose
overnight shipping can receive their books the next day, often less than 24
hours after the order was placed.
Kirtas is helping to fund this preservation effort by discounting the
costs associated with this program for select research universities and
public libraries. To find out more about BookSurge Print on Demand
services, please visit www.booksurge.com. For more information on Kirtas,
please visit www.kirtastech.com.
BookSurge and Kirtas Partner Quotes
"We believe that mass digitization and print-on-demand publishing is an
important new model for digital scholarship that is going to revolutionize
the management of academic materials," said Martin Halbert, director for
digital programs and systems at Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Library.
"Information will no longer be lost in the mist of time when books go out
of print. This is a way of opening up the past to the future."
"The digitization of our own collections is the next step in providing
the resources that the University Community and the citizens of the State
of Maine need for their research," said Joyce Rumery, Dean of Libraries,
University of Maine. "This project will allow users access to materials
that are now largely unavailable to most potential users."
"For the first time, this collaboration allows an individual to own a
print copy of the rarest books in the world," said Jason J. Buydos,
director, Technical Services, Cincinnati Public Library.
"And digitization allows librarians to move away from being the
curators of the rare book museum and back toward the true tenets of
librarianship - enabling access to the ideas and information locked within
the content of those rare books."
Toronto Public Library, North America's largest library, plans to
leverage Amazon.com's worldwide reach and Kirtas's unique technology to
share historic Canadian material and thousands of other rare works. "This
initiative creates an opportunity for libraries to preserve rare works and
ensure they'll be available for generations to come," said Linda Mackenzie,
director, Research and Reference Libraries, Toronto Public Library.
"Through digitization, our library shelves will span virtually the entire
BookSurge, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of
Amazon.com, Inc., is a pioneer in print-on-demand services. BookSurge
offers state-of-the- art Print on Demand services to the book publishing
About Kirtas Technologies
Kirtas Technologies was founded in 2001 with the vision of bringing to
the digital realm the massive knowledge sitting on library shelves,
government archives and corporate storerooms. Today, the company's
revolutionary technology redefines digitization of all bound documents,
delivering gentler handling and higher image quality faster, with fewer
errors, and at a lower cost than any other solution in the marketplace. For
more information, visit http://www.kirtastech.com/
Amazon.com, Inc., (Nasdaq: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in
Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's
Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most
customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything
they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the
lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of
unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and
personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors,
apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys
and baby, and home and garden.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com,
www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr,
www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com.
As used herein, "Amazon.com," "we," "our" and similar terms include
Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly
from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to
competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies,
potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion,
outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization,
seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic
transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant
amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation,
payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could
affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and all subsequent filings.
SOURCE BookSurge; Kirtas Technologies