President Barack Obama visited the Anacostia Library in Washington, D.C. on April 30 to unveil a new program proposal that would allow children in low-income families to receive access to free e-books online.
According to CBS News, many book publishers have agreed to participate in the program, which is expected to be valued near $250 million. Major book publishing companies, such as Simon and Schuster, Random House-Penguin and HarperCollins have expressed their willingness to participate in the project.
Currently, the New York Public Library is working with Firstbook, a non-profit book donation organization, to create an app for easy access to the millions of books that will become available for children.
The program has more meaning than ever in the wake of the recent situation in Baltimore, Maryland. The White House hopes that this program will allow for better educational opportunities in poor neighborhoods located in major cities throughout the nation.
One concern is how students will be able to take advantage of the program if they do not have a tablet, cellphone or computer to read off of. The President’s economic advisor, Jeff Zients, referred to the White House’s already announced plans to provide better Internet access for all students at schools and libraries around the country. The administration is currently working with Apple, who has pledged $100 million to assist with the upgrades, NBC News reported.
The Obama administration has also promised to have high-speed Internet access in nearly all public schools and libraries by 2018.