Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 1 — January 2001
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netLibrary, Houghton Mifflin to Launch Digital Textbook Initiative 

netLibrary, Inc. and Houghton Mifflin Co. have announced plans to launch a digital textbook initiative. netLibrary’s Meta-Text division will create electronic versions of Houghton Mifflin College Division texts and, beginning in the fall 2001 semester, provide college students and instructors with access to electronic textbooks through MetaText’s interactive, Web-based learning platform. 

Once transformed into MetaText editions, select Houghton Mifflin college titles will be available for review and adoption by instructors at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Instructors may purchase Meta-Text editions directly through their existing Houghton Mifflin sales representatives this spring for use in classes beginning in the fall semester. Plans are underway to include additional Houghton Mifflin titles via the Meta-Text platform in subsequent semesters. 

“We are thrilled to be taking another step into the future of online learning with Meta-Text,” said June Smith, executive vice president of Houghton Mifflin College Division. “Houghton Mifflin is committed to offering our customers the freedom to choose between reading materials in print or online. We chose MetaText to help us achieve our digital textbook goals because of the pedagogical value of the MetaText platform and the scalability of netLibrary’s conversion, hosting, and serving infrastructure.” 

MetaText editions contain all essential components of a textbook, including words, photographs, charts, and graphics. In addition, they organize text into conceptual units rather than arbitrary page breaks and feature a variety of tools for both instructors and students. With MetaText, instructors can build online course syllabi, manage class rosters, annotate text, and make class announcements. Students can use its features to search, navigate, annotate, highlight, and bookmark their online texts. 

Students will also have their own unique home pages that serve as a portal to all of their MetaText resources associated with the course, including the syllabus, text, announcements, and additional reading materials. Communication tools built into the MetaText platform facilitate instructor-to-student and instructor-to-class feedback. For more information, go to

According to the announcement, Houghton Mifflin Co. and netLibrary have joined forces on a number of other initiatives, reflecting Houghton Mifflin’s commitment to expanding the reach of its content and services beyond traditional channels. Numerous Houghton Mifflin Trade & Reference titles are available as e-books to netLibrary’s institutional customers. Additionally, the two companies worked together to integrate The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, into netLibrary’s online e-book catalog. 

Source: netLibrary, Inc., Boulder, CO, 303/415-2548; and Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 617/ 351-5000;

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