September 23, 2014

Stanford’s Venture Lab MOOC Platform Goes Private, Relaunches as NovoEd

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With backing from several technology investment firms, Stanford’s Venture Lab has been taken private and was relaunched today as NovoEd, an online learning startup that will offer a combination of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), professional courses, and for-credit courses in partnership with universities.

Minecraft Club: Want to bring the hottest game into your classroom or library? Here’s how.

Illustration by David Plunkert.

The popular game Minecraft “is accessible, fun, and, ultimately, an excellent learning tool for both nerds and non-nerds,” says Sarah Ludwig, who takes us step by step through her process of creating a thriving Minecraft club in her library. New to Minecraft? There’s a video primer.

Midwest Tape Launches Hoopla Pilot for Pay-Per-Circ Streaming Media

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A beta test for hoopla, the new digital content platform from Midwest Tape, was launched on Friday at the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), and will expand during the next several weeks to include tests at several other libraries.

One Way To Get Streaming Content from the Library: Ephrata PL Looks to Expand Roku Lending Program

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A Roku lending program launched last year by Ephrata Public Library (EPL) in Pennsylvania has proven so popular that the library is planning to invest in several more of the media streaming devices in the coming months.

Playaway View Proves Popular with DIY Crowd, Older Patrons, and Other Adults

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Playaway View units were designed with kids in mind. But two librarians who participated in a pilot test with portable audiobook and media platform provider say that the units’ portability and ease-of-use has also proven popular with adults, since the company began offering units featuring classic TV shows, do-it-yourself (DIY) videos, documentaries, and other content.

Saving Kids from Sneaky Online Marketing

Illustration by Jim Paillot.

It’s oh so easy to overlook what’s happening online—and if librarians, educators, and parents don’t notice it, why on Earth should kids?

Recorded Books Rolls Out IndieFlix Movie Streaming Service

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Recorded Books has announced worldwide availability of IndieFlix for Libraries, an online streaming service that will offer access to independent films, shorts, and documentaries to library cardholders on computers, Android and iOS tablets and mobile devices, Roku, and later this year, PS3 and Xbox game consoles. The service will offer patrons unlimited access to films screened at more than 2,000 film festivals worldwide, and interested libraries would pay a flat annual fee using a tiered pricing model based on total materials circulation.

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.

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 3: A Fabulous Home for Cocreation

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Over the past year , the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) has enjoyed the successful rollout of its Fabulous Laboratory (Fab Lab), a Maker space that resulted from the library’s commitment to community engagement and innovation. During this time, the library’s staff have been honored to speak about the Fab Lab and to explain not only its success but also the variety of challenges and assumptions that most libraries will face when developing a similar space.

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 2: Espress Yourself

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Over the past 40 years, public libraries have followed popular culture through the ever-more-abstract artifacts of the digital age, offering music and video in every format, public computers for Internet access, online branches, and downloadable content. Now, some libraries are following Maker culture back to things we can hold in our hands.