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Children and E-Books

A couple of months ago I offered to give a talk on Children and e-books. Who is reading them, what they are reading them on, where the books come from, etc.
A lot has been written on adults and ebooks, a bit less on teens and ebooks and next to nothing on kids and ebooks except for the pieces on pre-schoolers and iPads.
Clearly, the organizers of the conference thought that there wasn't enough discussion on this topic and agreed to have me speak. But it turns out to be a Catch-22. What do I speak on, if there isn't enough information out there?

Cites & Insights 12:12 (December 2012) available

Cites & Insights 12:12 (December 2012) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i12.pdf

The print-oriented PDF is 38 pages long. A single-column 6x9" PDF designed for online reading is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i12on.pdf. That version is 73 pages long. Both versions include bookmarks for all sections and subsections, one reason they're fairly large.

The issue includes the following (also available as HTML separates from the essay titles or at http://citesandinsights.info):
Policy:
The Rapid Rout of RWA (pp. 1-25)

A comedy in four acts over seven weeks, from AAP/PSP's endorsement of HR3699, the Research Works Act, on January 5, 2012, to Elsevier's withdrawal of its support for RWA (which mysteriously caused the near-instantaneous death of the bill, introduced as it had been by wholly independent Congresspeople) on February 7, 2012. It's a story that I believe and hope will resonate with scientists and others...

And it's not directly related to the other essay, but some might see connections:

Libraries:
Walking Away: Courage and Acquisitions (pp. 25-38)

World's Fastest Number Game Wows Spectators And Scientists

The Japanese have stumbled upon an extraordinary way to do mental arithmetic very, very fast: Become proficient with an abacus, then discard it and do your calculations using a mental image of one. The results are mind-boggling

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/alexs-adventures-in-numberland/2012/oct/29/mathematics

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check

Pocket Neighborhoods

Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World

Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World introduces an antidote to faceless, placeless sprawl — small scale neighborhoods where people can easily know one another, where empty nesters and single householders with far-flung families can find friendship or a helping hand nearby, and where children can have shirt-tail aunties and uncles just beyond their front gate.
The book describes inspiring pocket neighborhoods through stories of the people who live there, as well as the progressive planners, innovative architects, pioneering developers, craftspeople and gardeners who helped create them.

FASTER patron-driven acquisitions (PDA): a library model

OUR LIBRARY has pioneered what we believe is the first program of its kind in patron-driven acquisitions.

One of the problems with most library collections is that although they may be extensive, they can never be complete. And when the patron requests books on a topic, for example, "theoretical experimental particle physics," although the library may pride itself on its exhaustive collection, with current on-demand and online publishing it can't ever call its collection complete. So when the patron is given ten current books on "theoretical experimental particle physics," it is still a common occurrence whereby the patron will respond with infantile disappointment.

So the current model of collection development is broken. Libraries can't ever hope to meet every need. We buy and buy, but it's never enough for some people. So our library has adopted a new model that reduces our inability to fulfill our patrons' requests down to nearly zero. If the material exists, we can get it.

Here is a typical PDA transaction at our library:

The patron has expressed a need for some online content and the librarian assesses the system requirements of the content and the system configuration held by the patron to verify a match. When a match is found, for example, an iPad, the librarian will initiate the purchase by locating the item in the app and downloading it to the patron's device.

"Enter your password."

"But..."

"This is how it works. Just do it."

"Okay..."

"Now tap that."

"But.."

"And it's downloading to your iPad. And you can read it right now. Pretty cool, huh."

"But I didn't want to spend *my* money! That book was four *hundred* dollars!"

"But the library already spends your money through the taxes you pay. This is faster."

"You DICK!"

As you can see from the model, the patrons get what they want, when they want it, but the cost to the library has also been reduced to nearly zero.

New books in Amazon Top 100

New books in Amazon Top 100
http://nonstopbooks.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-books-in-amazon-top-100.html

Includes links to media pieces that discuss books.

Cites & Insights 12:11 (Fall 2012) available--special added issue

Looks like there will be 12 issues of C&I this year...

An added Fall 2012 issue of Cites & Insights is now available for download at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i11.pdf

The BlackBerry as Black Sheep

The phone once coveted by the elite and the powerful is becoming an object of ridicule as Androids and iPhones corner the smartphone market.

http://goo.gl/WeyJG

Joe Kittinger

Eric Lomax, River Kwai Prisoner Who Forgave, Dies at 93

Eric Lomax, a former British soldier who was tortured by the Japanese while he was a prisoner during World War II and half a century later forgave one of his tormentors — an experience he recounted in a memoir, “The Railway Man” — died on Monday in Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. He was 93. Full article in the NYT.

Catching The 'Shadow' Of A Lost World

Photographer Edward Curtis decided to chronicle the experience of the vanishing Native American tribes at the end of the 19th century. It was an unbelievably ambitious project that would define Curtis, his work and his legacy.

Full piece on NPR

Dining By Rail

Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America's Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine

Readers who sigh at the names "Super Chief" and "Zephyr," and who remember the meal Cary Grant ate on the train in North by Northwest , may find this book fulfilling their wildest dreams. In an attempt to "preserve a record of one of the ways we used to eat," rail fan and Penn State professor Porterfield presents a detailed history of train dining. Beginning as an alternative to railroad station eateries, train dining reached its peak in 1930, when 1732 railroad dining cars were registered with the Interstate Commerce Commission, and all but ended in 1971 with telegrams like the May 1 order to Union Pacific to shut its passenger lines and make way for Amtrak. Model railroaders and social historians will find the 150 photographs and illustrations invaluable: a photo spread with dimensions of the pantry of the New York Central's Twentieth Century Limited, a sample 1920s dinner menu from the Milwaukee Railroad's Pioneer Limited, descriptions of staff sleeping quarters. The second half of the book offers 250 recipes from 48 railroad lines, featuring early-20th-century fare like Lobster Newburg New York Central, Poinsettia Salad-Merchant's Limited and Baked Potato Pennsylvania. For authentic American versions of lamb fricassee, deviled eggs and blanc mange presented without campiness or apology, this is the source.

Cites & Insights 12:10 (November 2012) available

The November 2012 issue of Cites & Insights (12:10) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ12i10.pdf

iWoz and Libraries

I'm currently reading "iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon". It is a lively and fascinating read, and plenty of Steve Wozniak's comments are worth repeating, but this one about the that he and the other Steve:) spent at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) Library is superb, especially to a hang-out at libraries geek such as myself. Reminds me of spending some time at Mizzou's Engineering Library. :)

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

From Princeton University Press:

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

See video trailer for book.

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities.

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