Category Archives: News

Resolved: Open Library unexpected downtime

Update: This should now be resolved. 6 pm PDT.

Adobe had an unprecedented license server outage for most of the day on May 15th (PDT). Users have experienced issues checking books out of our lending library, mainly getting various Adobe errors. We are still trying to resolve the issues resulting from Adobe’s server outage and hope to fix the problem as quickly as possible. We’ve been in contact with our license provider and we hope to have it fixed soon. In the meantime lending/reading books via the BookReader is still functioning normally.

Apologies for the inconvenience. We’ll update the help page when it’s fixed.

Lists are here!

Open Library is happy to report that the Lists feature is here, for your collection-building enjoyment! You can create and share lists that include authors, works (all editions of a specific title), specific editions, and subjects.

Add to List icon

While browsing around, you can see when an item has been added to somebody’s list – just look underneath the Add to List button.  Here are some items that have been listed so far:

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Thumbnail View in BookReader!

We’re pleased to introduce a new thumbnail view for the Internet Archive BookReader. The thumbnail view gives you a quick visual impression of a book by seeing thumbnails of many pages at once. It’s a great way to quickly scan through a book.

Here’s how it looks for a book about the painter Goya:

The thumbnail view also makes it easy to pick out particular pages of interest, for example if you were trying to find the Burrowing Owl in Bird life in an Arctic Spring. Hint: here’s what he looks like:

You might also try looking at Old English colour prints or some of the other books about color prints.

This feature was submitted by Stephanie Collett of the California Digital Library via our BookReader GitHub account. It’s great to have this feature come in from the open source community building around the BookReader!

Democracy Now interviews Brewster Kahle

Hello! I’ve just joined the Open Library team as Project Lead. In this, my second week, I’m still finding my feet and getting to know everyone. The future looks really, really bright thanks to the amazing foundation already in place at Open Library. We have around 23 million books in our catalogue, over 1 million of which are available to read or download for free right now. The team has done an absolutely amazing job of drawing catalogue records from disparate libraries and connecting them all under

As I was finding my way last week, it just so happened that Brewster Kahle was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! about the current state of the Google Books Settlement – the perfect induction! (Brewster’s interview starts at around 13:55 minutes in.)

This blog post by Ryan Singel also came in handy: The Fight over the Google of all Libraries: A Wired FAQ.