3M Co. plans to debut an e-book service today that it hopes to sell to libraries across the country.
The Maplewood-based company will demonstrate the lending service at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans.
The system manages e-book collections and provides applications for lending and reading them via the Internet. The 3M system works on a wide array of devices, from laptops and smart phones to Nooks and Kindles.
Tom Mercer of 3M is leading the marketing of the system, and said the e-book system is simple and easy to use.
"It becomes a way for libraries to help fulfill their mission of bridging the digital divide for those that don't have the money to purchase technology," Mercer said.
The system also utilizes a 3M-branded e-book reader that libraries can loan to patrons who don't have their own reading devices.
The monchrome 3M e-readers will cost about $150 each. The devices can be disabled if they're not returned.
Libraries will pay additional fees for technology and software that helps them acquire, manage and distribute e-books.
3M serves more than 7,000 libraries, providing products that electronically track paper books.