August 21, 2014

Penn State’s One Button Studios Now Used 4,500 Times Per Year

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The two “one button” simplified video recording studios at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Library’s Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons have proven exceptionally popular and are now used for about 4,500 recording sessions per year.

Texas Superintendent Adopts Digitized Early Learning Program

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Using a community-wide digital reading program, Superintendent Ruben Alejandro of Texas’s Weslaco Independent School District has made literacy a priority for not only his school district, but for all kids in the community ages zero to three.

California Administrator Creates Digital Stopgap After School Librarian Cuts

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When school librarians began to disappear in this Camarillo, California school district, Jay Greenlinger, the district’s director of instructional technology, found a way for students to find books and information online.

With All “Big Five” Ebooks Now Available, Ebook Vendors Assess the Road Ahead

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Shortly after Simon & Schuster’s June 26 announcement that it had concluded a 15-month pilot test and would make its entire ebook catalog available to all U.S. libraries, Macmillan last week announced that it will make all frontlist ebook titles available to U.S. libraries as well. These moves mark a milestone in terms of the availability of popular ebooks, as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster became the final two of the “big five” publishers to allow U.S. libraries to license and loan all titles in their ebook collections.

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools

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It’s never too early to encourage reading. Richard Byrne shares his picks for tools that young readers and writers can use with or without an adult. Includes screencasts demoing three applications: Building Language for Literacy, Reading Bear, and Maily, an iOS app for letter writing.

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited

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In a long-expected move, Amazon on July 18 announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service that will give users unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 ebooks and more than 2,000 audiobooks on Amazon Kindle devices and any device with a Kindle app for $9.99 per month. The online retailer’s financial resources, marketing clout, and massive base of Kindle users alter the competitive landscape for all providers of ebooks, including libraries.

Are Today’s Kids All Thumbs? Touch Matters. Researchers Bring Tactile Learning into Digital Realm.

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Using our hands is critical to learning, and the rise of digital use by young children potentially limits their opportunities to learn about the world around them through touch. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has found that young children have trouble using toys and blocks because of their overuse of touch-screen devices.

Anticipatory Discovery and One-Click Server Installs Among LITA Top Tech Trends | ALA 2014

LITA Top Tech Trends 2014 panel

Anticipatory and contextual discovery, open hardware, one-click server installs, mobile-first design, institutional digital assets management, and even biohackerspaces were some of the topics discussed this year at the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel, held June 29 at the American Library Association (ALA) 2014 Annual Conference.

Getting Hands on at ISTE’s Digital Age Library Playground | ISTE 2014

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For three hours at ISTE’s Digital Age Library Playground, teacher librarians excitedly milled from station to station, absorbing knowledge, connecting with colleagues, and exploring new strategies. At any given time, hundreds of people were not only taking in the presenters’ shared knowledge, but trying out the resources being discussed.

Library Simplified Works on Three-Click Access for Library Ebooks | ALA 2014

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Library ebook transactions remain too lengthy and complicated for patrons, especially in comparison with consumer ebook transactions, James English, product manager for the Library Simplified project at the New York Public Library (NYPL) said during his “EPUB: Walled Gardens and the Readium Foundation” presentation at the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Book Industry Study Group (BISG) Eighth Annual Forum, held June 27 in conjunction with the American Library Association (ALA) 2014 Annual Conference. The group is working to make an open, commercial-grade ereader for libraries that would greatly simplify this process.