Internet Archive – 15m downloads per month, 2m ebooks scanned,1,000 partners and other new facts

Robert Miller, Global Director of eBooks for the Internet Archive, sent this email to IA sponsors, partners, and content contributors.  It has some really interesting facts, figures, and updates from the IA and Robert was kind enough to let me repost it here on NSR in full. I have highlighted some of those remarkable facts and figures in bold below.

Dear Archive Sponsors, Content Contributors and Partners,

We are at the mid-year point in 2013. I wanted to share  with you some “news you can use” about several milestones we will soon be reaching, a few changes in our pricing structure and plans for the remainder of the year. Please feel free to distribute this email to the appropriate people on your teams or the libraries you represent.

First, thank you for your continued support of the Internet Archive. We, together, have collectively built the largest, free, public digital lending library in the world. Yippee to all of us!

Funding -
As you might remember, our original funding for the Internet Archive digitization program came in the form of a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2004. This one-time grant was never meant to be ongoing, but was to allow for the development of a low cost, high quality digitization program to be used by libraries to complement, enhance or replace their own internal efforts. In short, it was to be a backbone infrastructure service and resource to help libraries move quickly and decisively into eBooks, both in terms of access and preservation.

I am happy to report that we have as a community been successful keeping this ‘engine’ running for the 6 years after the Sloan grant ended. It is your continued support (paying) for the digitization of your materials that go into the public domain that keeps this program viable and growing. Thank you again!

Milestone -
In about 3 weeks, we will reach the 2 millionth eBook that we have scanned! This is a testament to the commitment and support from all of you.

We are also closing in our 1,000 partner!!

Thank you again! (and please don’t stop scanning!)

Use/Downloads  -
For the past 6 months we have a consistent 15 million digital loans/ per month  of all the eBooks we have on line. That is 350 books every minute being checked out! This number continues to grow each month.

Public domain and modern books -
Overall, we now have 4.4 million eBooks online (Archive.org), the difference of 4.4 and 2.0 million is  from uploads of items digitized elsewhere. We also have 500,000 modern eBooks for the print disabled and 250,000 modern eBooks (OpenLibrary.org). Our next goal is to reach 10 million public domain and modern eBooks on line. We are looking for partners that wish to fund more modern books to grow our contemporary global library. By working together, I am confident we will reach this goal in the near future.

Pricing – Ufilm
We are lowering our pricing to $.15 from  $.25 per image for newspaper digitization. Improvements in our OCR have allowed us to reduce this pricing. So bring it on!

Plans going forward - 
1. Where are we scanning? We continue to expand our scanning footprint and are now on 4 continents ( North/South America, Europe and Asia.) and 33 locations. We hope to be in South Africa in the next 6 months, which will give us a 5th continent. Help us get to Australia and New Zealand! Antarctica….?

2. What do we need? We are looking to collect 500,000 post-1922 physical books in the next 18 months and need your help. If you know of any large or small collections being deaccessioned, please contact me. We will pay the shipping.

3. Leaders Forum – We will be having our annual Leaders Forum this year for 2 days in Oct (probably the week of Oct 21st.). This might be held in Boston (not in SF) just prior to the DPLA kickoff.  This would give our east coast partners an easy chance to join in!  Please let me know if you or any of your team are interested in attending. Robert@archive.org

4. Reminder -
Yes we can scan archival collections, sheet fed materials, serials, bound multiples, thesis and many other non-traditional items. Call us!

5. Funding -
I need to raise $100,000 in the next 6 months to fund the start up costs of a Healthy Living- Work Transition program that will help move ‘hard-to-employ’ adults from homeless-addiction recovery, to worker skills training at the Internet Archive, to guaranteed interviewing at employers such as Costco (if you are interested in helping on this, please let me know).

6. OCR - We having in adding a Japanese/Chinese/Korean OCR package. So let’s digitize more content in these languages.

7. Equipment – We have completed our investment in new computers, cameras and lights for all of our digitization equipment. This was an investment of over $300,000.

8. Staffing – We have increased by 33% our engineering and support staff to be more responsive and to make your collections look better online.

9. Uploading – We have improved our user tool and uploading tools to allow you to upload digital content you already have.

Again, thanks for a great first 6 months of 2013. I look forward to hearing back from all of you.

With kind regards,

Robert