Bandwidth is limited at sea and those long days out on the open ocean can be lonely without the warmth of bits and bytes to keep one company.
To cope, the Navy is proposing to create shipboard e-book lending libraries so sailors can download and read e-books without having to tax the Internet on ships — and so submariners can download and read e-books at all (there is no broadband on submarines).
According to NextGov, the Navy has put out a request for proposal from contractors who could provide such a service.
Here are the requirements from the document:
(1) offering a high quality, easy to use, stand alone eBook library to afloat commands;
(2) implement space saving technologies to streamline LMRC [Library Multimedia Resource Center] footprints on smaller vessels: i.e. submarines; and
(3) improve diversity and broaden the appeal of LMRC collections currently limited by physical constraints on all vessels. The stand alone eBook lending library shall save storage space, provide enhanced access to leisure and educational reading materials, and bring LMRC customer service levels in line with industry standards.
Last week, Digital Book World spoke with Safari Online CEO Andrew Savikas who said that a consumer-facing, mass-market e-book lending library was “inevitable.” Maybe it’s the Navy that makes his prediction a reality.