November 19, 2014

Skype, Now an Everyday Tool in Schools

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Ask teachers and librarians about their experiences with Skype today, and you’ll hear a long list of projects, from the traditional Skype author visit to virtual writing workshops, interviews with scientists in the field, Mystery Skype connections, and more.

Survey: Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report

Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report, sponsored by Freading. The growth in demand for ebooks has cooled during the past four years, although as the report notes, this “is only because [ebooks] have become less of a novelty and more mainstream.”

Adobe’s Lax Security Raises Concerns About Student Privacy

Adobe logo

Privacy around what students read, along with other personal data, may be at risk due to software giant Adobe’s transmission of the data without encryption. Student rights are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the confidentiality of student records.

Westport Maker Space Expands with Robots, SolidWorks Courses, and Volunteer Training

Westport Robot Reading

The Westport Library’s ongoing efforts to support its Maker Space, including Maker in Residence programs and the recent acquisition of two programmable robots, have helped establish a virtuous cycle in which residents have begun working on their own projects and helping one another independently.

SLJ Reviews zSpace, a 3-D Platform for the Classroom

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Educator Jason Sellers reviews zSpace, which enables users to view and manipulate objects in a unique, immersive experience.

Anil Dash Keynote Rallies Librarians to Demand a Web for the People | TDS14

Anil Dash

In an intellectually provocative keynote speech focusing on the privatization of the Internet, Dash called upon librarians to raise their voices and demand a more transparent, public Web.

JukePop Opens Kickstarter to Get Indie Ebooks into Libraries

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JukePop—a Palo Alto, CA-based start-up that crowdsources independently published books—has launched a Kickstarter, hoping to raise $15,000 to expand its library service to 60 more branches in states including California, Utah, and Arizona.

MA State Ebook Pilot Offers Insights

Massachusetts Library System Logo

The Massachusetts State Ebook Project (MA EBook Project), conceived by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s (MBLC) Statewide Resource Sharing Committee and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), this summer concluded a pilot program, offering many insights into the challenges and promises that statewide consortial ebook lending programs may offer.

Augmented Library

VIRTUAL LANDMARKS Pointing a smartphone at LAPL’s lobby ceiling initiates an interview with Renee Petropoulos, the artist who designed its mural. Aiming at the clay torch statue (top) that sits off the Central Library rotunda triggers local news footage of the Central Library’s 1986 fire, along with interviews and a photo gallery

In early April 2013, digital journalism professor Robert Hernandez, of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles, was driving by L.A.’s Central Library downtown while thinking of ideas for his experimental augmented reality (AR) storytelling and journalism course when he had an aha moment: Why not focus a project on augmenting the Central Library?

New Frederick County PL Library Card Doubles as a Visa Debit Card

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Following four months of discussions with SirsiDynix and a brief pilot test this summer, Maryland’s Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) on September 5 officially launched the “I Love My Library” prepaid Visa debit card. Developed by SirsiDynix in partnership with Visa and Card Limited, the new affinity cards double as a patron’s library card and aim to help libraries achieve three goals.