August 1, 2015

The Oldest Internet Publication You’ve Never Heard Of

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Twenty-five years ago I started a library current awareness service called Current Cites. The idea was to have a team of volunteers monitor library and information technology literature and cite only the best publications in a monthly publication (see the first page of the inaugural issue pictured). Here is the latest issue. TidBITS is, I […]

Ebook Vendors Anticipate Big Five Licensing Terms Becoming More Flexible

After years of expressing concern about the potential impact that library lending might have on consumer sales, major publishers have good cause to take another look at the library market for ebooks, according to executives from library ebook distributors OverDrive, 3M, and Baker & Taylor. With consumer sales growth slowing, bolstering institutional sales will likely become more of a priority for major publishers. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash noted that publishers, like all for-profit companies, are always looking for growth, and “there’s still a lot a growth in institutions, and there [are] significant opportunities for growth in education…. If retail is flattening, you have to experiment.”

Colorado State Library Expands Online Training Site

The Colorado State Library (CSL) is continuing to build out its Library Creation & Learning Centers website, a free online resource where libraries throughout the state and beyond can access interactive technology and customer service training modules for staff, Maker space programming ideas, curated links to digital creation software, and more. While the site currently focuses primarily on tech-related topics, there are plans to expand it to offer resources and training materials for a range of subjects.

More “Endless” Fun | Touch and Go

Originator has won high praise for its “Endless” apps—a playful educational series that focuses on basic reading and math readiness skills. Their latest release is an introduction to Spanish for children learning it as a first or second language.

NYPL, CPL Wi-Fi Lending Pilots Progressing | ALA Annual 2015

Early results from two Knight News Challenge award-funded pilot programs indicate that mobile hotspot lending could help bridge the digital divide in city neighborhoods where broadband adoption is low, and home Internet subscriptions are considered a luxury. A capacity crowd was on hand to hear Luke Swarthout, director of adult education services for the New York Public Library (NYPL) and Michelle Frisque, chief of technology content and innovation for Chicago Public Library (CPL) discuss NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” services during their “A Tale of Two Cities: NYPL and CPL Wi-Fi Lending Projects” presentation.

Warren Buckleitner Curates a Starter Set of Apps

You might say that the iPad’s been cursed by its own success—full of mid-to-low quality apps that tease kids with free offers. Here’s a starter list of better apps, with something for every youngster.

Rethinking Privacy at the LITA Top Tech Trends Panel | ALA Annual 2015

Librarians should not be afraid to discuss both positive and negative implications of collecting and analyzing patron data, library technology consultant Carson Block said during the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel during the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on June 28. “We’ve limited ourselves by saying, ‘We don’t want to […]

Wisdom of the Crowd | Digital Collections

Even at large libraries that have staff dedicated to digitization projects, the additional effort needed to enable researchers to extract data from these collections—such as transcribing OCR-resistant text, or adding item-level tags to large collections of images—would be an untenable chore for a library to take on alone. So, in the past half decade, libraries have taken cues from long-running projects, using crowdsourcing as a way not only to outsource work that would be impossible for staff to attempt but also to engage volunteers.

Chicago High School Hosts Citywide Maker Faire, Coproduced by the School’s Library Director   

Can you imagine having a Maker Faire at your school? That’s the case at Schurz High School in Chicago, where students are helping host the annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, which draws 2,000 attendees.