Joint effort launches statewide e-book project in partnership with university presses

November 5, 2021
Written By:
Kristen Twardowski

In partnership with the Library of Michigan, university presses from University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University, have launched a unique collection of regional e-books available to all residents of Michigan.

The statewide e-book collection currently consists of 300 e-books published by local university presses about Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

This collection of homegrown Michigan titles includes winners of the Michigan Notable Books award, which is designed to pay tribute to the people, places and things that make Michigan unique, as well as other important books published by Michigan presses and authors. Residents and visitors to the state of Michigan can access these e-books (with no wait lists or holds) via geolocation at any time at The Michigan Humanities provided important financial support and is also a founding partner of the project.

“It was vital for the University of Michigan Press to participate in this project because it is part of our mission to advance knowledge about and for our local community. This e-book collection allows everyone in Michigan to engage with educational, inspirational, and often surprising books about our great state. I am thrilled we can share these books with the people of Michigan,” said Charles Watkinson, director of University of Michigan Press.

As a university publisher, the University of Michigan Press is dedicated to exploring new and sustainable ways to reach readers and researchers. Most traditional public library models place constraints on the availability of e-books for users, but enables all Michigan residents and visitors to freely and immediately access the books, resulting in a collection that highlights the best parts of the state of Michigan: the ability of its people to cooperate and to problem solve to create a better future.

The University of Michigan Press’ contributions to the collection explore aspects of the state’s natural environment, history and culture. Highlights include “Ancient Life of the Great Lakes Basin” by acclaimed Michigan paleontologist J. Alan Holman; “The Toledo War” by Don Faber, an entertaining look at the start to the Michigan-Ohio rivalry; and “Michigan Legends” by Sheryl James, a collection of stories drawn from Michigan’s rich folk heritage.