July 23, 2014

Credo Integrates Text-to-Speech Accessibility Features Into Literati

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Credo Reference is integrating text-to-speech technology from ReadSpeaker into its Literati full-text reference line of offerings. The text-to-speech functionality is already available for Literati Public and will soon be added to Literati Academic, Literati School, and Literati Student Athlete. The latter two products were launched earlier this year. The move comes as several library organizations are embarking on more focused efforts to address the need for accessibility with digital content.

Why We Miss the First Sale Doctrine in Digital Libraries

John Palfrey

In this article, the fourth installment in a series on the initiative to build a Digital Public Library of America, I examine the underlying role of law in the ebook lending debate, explore potential solutions to the problems, and consider how the DPLA can contribute to solutions for those we serve. At the core of this issue is the way the copyright law works–or doesn’t–when it comes to books, libraries, and readers in the United States today and into the future.

Reveal Digital Seeks Sweet-Spot Funding Model for Digitizing Special Collections

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Digital information industry veteran Jeff Moyer last month launched Reveal Digital, a company that aims to use a lean, efficient funding model to digitize special collections and then make those collections open access. Reveal will treat digitization “as a service to libraries rather than a more traditional publishing or product approach,” he said.

A Digital Birthday Present for Jack London

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Tonight I will be attending the 137th birthday celebration for Jack London, put on by the Jack London Foundation in Sonoma Valley where I live. Jack lived here for many years, built his “Wolf House” here, and died not long after it burned to the ground and just before he was to move in. Meanwhile, by […]

What the DPLA Can Mean for Libraries

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One of the concerns expressed about the planning initiative to create a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is that its very existence might threaten public libraries. While I credit this fear—no outcome to this initiative could be worse—the DPLA is designed to do precisely the opposite: to establish a platform and resources that will help libraries and other cultural heritage institutions, both public and private, to succeed in a digital era.

Dickens, Re-Serialized

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Gordon Library’s Project Boz is using the Internet to help modern readers experience the novels of Dickens in their original, serialized form. “We wanted to offer everyone the opportunity to encounter these novels as Victorian readers did,” said Kathy Markees, preservation librarian, WPI’s Gordon Library, and co-director of Project Boz with […]

Media Spotlight: DVD Circ Holds Steady, For Now

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Like VHS recorders before them, DVD and Blu-ray players will eventually vanish from U.S. households, as people transition toward options such as cloud storage for content that they own and streaming services for content they want to rent. And, like every media format transition before, this shift is posing challenges for libraries as they attempt to serve their existing patrons, plan for the future, and maintain circulation figures on limited collections budgets.

A $1,500 DIY Robotic Book Scanner

Recently a Google engineer unveiled a do-it-yourself (DIY) robotic book scanner. As reported by The Verge, Dany Qumsiyeh and a team of colleagues constructed it out of sheet metal, scanner parts, and an ordinary vacuum cleaner to build a page-turning scanner that only requires human intervention to put a book on the device. Scans are automatically […]