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Feel good story via American Profile.
Matthew Shields flashes a smile and high-fives Mason Wilde with the prosthetic on his right hand. Born without fingers on that hand, Matthew, 9, now uses his Robohand to open doors, carry books and catch a ball—thanks to Mason, 17, who made the device with a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, Kan.
“It definitely made me proud,” says Mason, a junior at Louisburg (Kan.) High School. Matthew’s mother, Jennifer Shields, noticed last fall that her son’s birth defect was making the third-grader self-conscious and affecting him socially. But even with health insurance, the single mother knew she couldn’t afford a professionally made prosthetic.
Researching online, Jennifer found Robohand, the mechanical hand invented by South African carpenter Richard van As, who lost four fingers in a circular saw accident, and theatrical props maker Ivan Owen, in Bellingham, Wash. The pair posted the free digital design last year on thingiverse.com. “I looked at the plans, but had no idea how to do it,” recalls Jennifer, 43.
Her teenaged son Mason, however, eagerly accepted the challenge. A straight-A student who aspires to be an engineer, he previously had read about three-dimensional printer technology. “I downloaded all the files and spent about three hours scaling the hand to fit Matthew,” Mason says.
After a long-standing feud over allowing their metadata to be accessed by subscribers via other discovery services, EBSCO has announced a metadata sharing policy wherein they "will be making available all metadata (and full text when contractually allowed)" . . . except for when they don't want to: "The only EBSCO research databases that are not yet included in the above policy are those resources that are built upon and subscribed to primarily for their subject indexing."
Phil Shapiro often loans his Chromebook to patrons of the public library where he works. He says people he loans it to are happily suprised at how fast it is. He wrote an article earlier this month titled Teachers unite to influence computer manufacturing that was a call to action; he says that if 20,000 teachers demand a simple, low-cost Chromebook appliance -- something like a Chrome-powered Mac mini with a small SSD instead of a hard drive, and of course without the high Mac mini price -- some computer manufacturer will bite on the idea.
Teleread asks if authors should be using the Snapchat social media platform to promote themselves. Why?
"In this article on Brand Driven Digital, Nick Westergaard gives Snapchat a look and explains why it matters. Here’s why young adult authors and publishers should pay attention: “nearly half of Americans 12–24 use Snapchat.”
Oh? The exact audience that young adult writers crave."
This begs the question: Should libraries be using Snapchat?
Visitors to the New York Public Library’s website will have a new way to decide what to read next: The library is partnering with New York-based startup Zola Books to offer algorithm-based recommendations to readers. The technology comes from Bookish, the book discovery site that Zola acquired earlier this year.
Listen to host Manoush Zomorodi* of NPR determine people's opinions about Google Glass (affordability, issues of privacy). Have you tried it out? What do you think? I saw a few folks wearing Glass at ALA-MW.
(*Finally figured out how Ms. Zomorodi's name is spelled).
Sony & Panasonic announced that they have formulated "Archival Disc", a new standard for professional-use, next-generation optical discs, with the objective of expanding the market for long-term digital data storage.
Optical discs have excellent properties to protect themselves against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them robust media for long-term storage of content. Recognizing that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage going forward, particularly given the anticipated future growth in the archive market, Sony and Panasonic have been engaged in the joint development of a standard for professional-use next-generation optical discs.
The Stupidity of Computers
The good news is that, because computers cannot and will not “understand” us the way we understand each other, they will not be able to take over the world and enslave us (at least not for a while). The bad news is that, because computers cannot come to us and meet us in our world, we must continue to adjust our world and bring ourselves to them. We will define and regiment our lives, including our social lives and our perceptions of our selves, in ways that are conducive to what a computer can “understand.” Their dumbness will become ours.
The Zen of Web Discovery: Whether you're just thinking of getting a new resource discovery layer; are starting implementation but are overwhelmed by the number of configuration options for your new product; or already have a site in production that is unfortunately going unacknowledged by coworkers, this article is written for you. It gives an overview of strategies for successfully managing the change that comes with a new web-scale discovery system.
Many libraries have revitalized their role by offering an updated resource discovery layer. This article gives an informal overview of design principles and best practices for implementing a web-scale discovery system. Emphasis is placed on the proper service philosophy of supporting a new technology, with open communications and evidence-based customization.
A New Year’s Vision of the Future of Libraries as Ebookstores
As the New Year approaches, I have a vision of the future that brings bookstores to every town and invigorates libraries. In this vision, libraries of the future are our local bookstores. I see a future where libraries let people borrow digital books—or buy them.