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Preface

Mirela Roncevic

Abstract


This issue of Library Technology Reports explores Free Reading Zones (FREZ), which are designated areas that provide people free and uninterrupted access to e-books through sponsorships. The report sheds light on what FREZ is, how it came about, who’s behind it, and what its short-term and long-term goals are. Roncevic explores how FREZ can empower the e-book industry—consumers, aggregators, distributers, and publishers—by equalizing access to knowledge and education in areas beyond thriving city communities. Describing her experience launching the first FREZ in a small European café and turning the entire country of Croatia into an open virtual library for one whole month, she shows how creating open virtual libraries can make reading more accessible and open. The goal of this report is to both inspire and motivate librarians to embrace the idea of open virtual libraries and attempt similar initiatives in their communities.


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