The Jakarta Post
A glimpse of ijakarta, a digital library application launched by aksaramaya and the Jakarta administration. (JP/-)
Feeling the need to share and find new friends with similar interests in books? Try ijakarta, a digital library application based on social media that is gearing up toward becoming a content-based lifestyle app.
Cleverly using social media users’ tendencies to share their activities and interests, ijakarta provides an ample platform. Users can post what books they are currently reading, they can find users with similar interests, and they are then able to build interaction and community in the system.
Launched in October 2015, the application now has more than 106,000 users. There are 14,389 book titles available from 62 publishers.
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ijakarta was inspired by aksaramaya alongside the Jakarta administration. The involvement of public figures in literacy campaigns has made a significant contribution to the increase in new users. Several local governments have also expressed their interest in building digital libraries in their respective areas.
Moco CEO Sulasmo Sudharno said the future of the country’s economy lay in libraries. “I view it as a sharing-economy model, an impact of digital technology,” he said.
The library system is little different from the conventional one, where there are limits on borrowing times and the number of books that can be borrowed in one week. When a user fails to return borrowed books in time, they will not be able to read them.
Book information is stated in the app, along with how many copies are available and comments from other users. When all copies of a title are borrowed, users go on to a waiting list.
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Users can also donate books to existing digital libraries, and they can even persuade their communities to build ones in their areas.
Sulasmo said that waiting list numbers could indicate a good sign for publishers. “Great responses to digital books usually mean they will also do well in print format, even becoming best-sellers,” he said.
Public participation is encouraged through epustaka, or personal digital libraries for individuals, groups, or non-profit organizations. The epustaka pages can be customized to users’ needs and can be a medium for users and readers in sharing references, building dialog or as a platform to publish the work of amateur writers.
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