Investigating a Better UC Ebook Reading Experience

If you are a library patron, reading an ebook on your phone or tablet is hard. That’s because, depending on the publisher, different ebooks require different reading apps. To get around this problem, the New York Public Library developed an open source system that allows patrons to read any publisher’s ebooks with just one app.

This app has been a great success at NYPL. As a result, the California State Library is helping all public libraries in California to adopt this system and other states, including New York and Texas, are following suit. Academic libraries are now joining in:  Columbia University and New York University are now running successful pilots of this system.

All of these libraries are enthusiastically adopting this system both because it creates a better reading experience for patrons and because it ensures that all publishers, big and small, have equal access to the reading app used by library patrons.

To see if this system, now called The Palace Project, could benefit UC library patrons, the Direction and Oversight Committee (DOC) charged the UC Palace Project Team on November 1, 2022 to investigate. 

Prior to the official charge, members of the team had been informally communicating with colleagues from Columbia, NYU and the non-profit service provider, Lyrasis, for several years to understand how Palace’s benefits as an ebook reader application could be brought to academic libraries.

In this preliminary phase of the project, which is expected to conclude in June 2023, the team will investigate the feasibility, risks, benefits and cost of implementing Palace for the UC Libraries and report their findings to DOC. If this initial investigation phase proves successful, the next phase would likely be an implementation pilot.


Judy Dobry, CDL (chair)
Peter Brantley, UC Davis 
Jackie Gosselar, UC Berkeley
Rachael Hu, CDL
Chan Li, UC Berkeley
Lisa Ngo, UC Berkeley
Nga Ong, CDL
Lena Zentall, CDL (project manager) 


Read the UC Palace Project Team charge:

Read about the Palace Project 

Read the UC Palace User’s FAQ with instructions for downloading the app.

The team will communicate news periodically to stakeholders. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns to the group’s listserv at