With so much still restricted and closed, do you and your children need something new to read this summer? The New Jersey State Library has announced that more than 4,000 comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials are now available for free to all residents of the state. The project is running throughout the summer as part of an innovative program in collaboration with other states including Montana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Kentucky, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, and Idaho. The intention is to offer easy access to digital content that also promotes summer reading for all ages despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its shutdowns. EBooks will be released all summer from children’s, comics, and science fiction publishers.

On July 30, the New Jersey State Library will also participate in the Virtual Library Comic Convention, featuring interactive sessions with leading talent and guests for free. During the convention, librarians will talk about grassroots graphic novel creation and local zine publishing programs available through public libraries.

“We are happy to work with our peer state library organizations to create this project,” said Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Specialist for Lifelong Learning at the NJ State Library. “The aim during this stressful time is to simplify how New Jersey residents access digital reading materials. As libraries, we are competing for digital attention with mainstream media, and projects like this remind people we are here to serve their information needs both during a crisis and in everyday life.

“In the modern era, delivering and using statewide eContent resources should be as easy as catching an Uber, and we are proud to work with statewide library organizations and publishers adapting the digital library experience to modern user expectations. This model creates seamless support of information deserts throughout the state and ensures all states can provide a baseline eBook collection to all residents,” said BiblioLabs CEO Mitchell Davis.

All content is available in an unlimited, simultaneous-use model by way of geolocation. The collection is free to libraries and patrons in participating states through August 31. Click here to see what is available for NJ residents.

New Jersey State Library