August 5, 2015

Biodiversity Heritage Library Launches Crowdsourcing Games

The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums.

A Place To Feel Smart Again | The Digital Shift

Gerontologist Debbie Dodds developed a tablet-based workshop program with the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, CA, for people with early-stage memory loss. She and library representatives will present on the pilot at LJ’s all-day virtual event The Digital Shift this October 14. In the run-up to the conference, LJ caught up with Dodd to learn more.

School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth | SLJ 2015 Tech Survey

IPads, maker spaces, 3-D printers, and coding skills top the tech wish lists for 1,259 school librarians across the country, according to School Library Journal’s 2015 Technology Survey.

The Oldest Internet Publication You’ve Never Heard Of

aug1990

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.