Blackboard and Barnes & Noble Partner to Streamline Access to Digital Content

July 14, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla., July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blackboard (Nasdaq: BBBB) and Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and leading operator of college bookstores, today announced a partnership that aims to make it easier for millions of higher education students to access and use interactive e-textbooks as part of their online course experience.

Under the partnership, the companies will work to enable students to access and purchase e-textbooks and other course related materials directly in Blackboard Learn(TM), the leading Web-based teaching and learning platform. The effort will help streamline the ability for instructors to assign content from Barnes & Noble’s vast catalog of over one million titles, including e-books, e-textbooks, relevant study aids, test prep guides, periodicals, and hundreds of thousands of trade and professional titles.

The partnership will also create greater interoperability between Blackboard Learn and NOOKstudy(TM) by Barnes & Noble, a free, feature-rich software application that delivers a superior digital reading experience and enhances the academic experience through unique and customizable study features. NOOKstudy was built by students for students and works on the computer device they rely on the most, their PC or Mac. Among NOOKstudy’s critical features include enabling students to navigate e-textbooks as they would printed ones, to view multiple books and sources at once, and to access complementary content. Students can also highlight and take notes that are searchable and customizable. All of this will help students study smarter, not harder.

“This partnership will make it much easier for students to access the resources they need for their courses and leverage the best in interactive, digital content,” said Matthew Small, Chief Business Officer at Blackboard. “This is part of our overall strategy to transform the way that students and instructors use and share digital content.”

NOOKstudy will be available with books sold online at Barnes & Noble.com, one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, the company’s eBookstore with over one million titles, and nearly 640 Barnes & Noble campus bookstores nationwide. NOOKstudy will be rolled out for the fall 2010 semester.

“The integration of NOOKstudy with Blackboard Learn will allow institutions to offer students a digital choice for their educational needs,” said Tracey Weber, EVP, Textbooks and Digital Education at Barnes & Noble.com. “We are committed to offering students simple and seamless access to all of their educational materials.”

The integration is expected to be available to Blackboard clients later in the year as a Blackboard Building Block(TM) for institutions running Blackboard Learn Release 8 and higher. As part of the partnership, Barnes & Noble becomes a Blackboard Premier Partner(TM) in the Blackboard Alliance Program(TM). The announcement was made at BbWorld®, Blackboard’s annual user conference held in Orlando, Florida.

For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://blackboard.com/Teaching-Learning/Learn-Platform.aspx. For more information about NOOKstudy by Barnes & Noble, please visit http://www.NOOKstudy.com.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 720 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, also operates 637 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is the nation’s top bookseller brand for the seventh year in a row, as determined by a combination of the brand’s performance on familiarity, quality, and purchase intent; the top bookseller in quality for the second year in a row and the number two retailer in trust, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than one million titles in its eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks). Barnes & Noble customers can buy and read eBooks on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK(TM) by Barnes & Noble, eBook Readers from partner companies, and hundreds of the most popular mobile and computing devices using free BN eReader software.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

NOOK(TM) is a trademark of Barnes & Noble, Inc.

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Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “will,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Form 10-Q filed on May 7, 2010 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of July 14, 2010. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to July 14, 2010.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

Source: newswire

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