“Osmo is part app and part iPad, with a little physical hackery thrown in,” writes Chad Sansing, who considers the new gaming platform’s potential for the classroom in his review.
Officials at Amazon believe subscription-based ebook consumption is an inevitability, and will continue to invest in and build the company’s Kindle Unlimited service as part of an effort to stay ahead of the emerging trend, Russ Grandinetti, senior VP, Kindle, at Amazon explained during a candid general session interview on January 14 at the Digital Book World Conference and Expo 2015. In a separate panel, publishers expressed enthusiasm for Oyster and Scribd as discovery platforms.
Public and school libraries that are part of OverDrive’s global network circulated 137 million ebooks, digital audiobooks, and other digital media in 2014—a 33 percent increase compared with 2013, according to statistics released by the company. Ebook circulation rose 32 percent, to 105 million, while digital audiobook circulation grew 38 percent, to 32 million. The OverDrive network also recorded 401 million visits to public library and school library websites powered by OverDrive, a 77 percent increase.
In March 2011, the Boise Public Library (BPL), ID, used $3,300 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding to purchase four iPad 2 tablets and all of the trimmings. As it turned out, BPL may have been a couple of years ahead of its time. This conversation is now coming full circle. Technological advances continue to make tablets lighter, faster, and more affordable. Vendors have recently launched interfaces that make it possible to use a staff tablet to perform tasks ranging from weeding books to signing up new cardholders. Also, applying lessons learned about these devices during the past five years, many libraries are rebooting or enhancing the way tablets are integrated into roving reference, off-site programs, and other workflows.
The most important resource for creating a successful library maker space—whether in a school or public library—is one’s own community, according to librarians Justin Hoenke, Amy Koester, and Michelle Cooper. Strong relationships and community involvement, not big budgets and high-tech gadgetry, are key to reaching children and teens, the trio of makers say.
Last week’s “The Digital Shift” virtual event, “Reinventing Libraries,” produced by Library Journal and School Library Journal, looked at the broad spectrum of ways in which libraries are remaking themselves and rethinking their missions—and how to accomplish them—in the digital age. Throughout the day, panelists gave presentations, took questions from honing new skills, developing new ones, and thinking ahead about what assets will make a successful library—and a successful librarian—in the future.