Electronic Publications

Photo Montage: Digital Bookmobile

Cleveland-based digital media vendor Overdrive is taking a "digital bookmobile" on a tour to show off the services Overdrive provides patrons via libraries. The LISTen production team visited the tractor-trailer rig to get some pictures of the traveling show. -- Read More

Tuesday Discussion Items

Put that on your wedding registry! First, in shopping for a new apartment, my wife and I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. As I arrived before she did, I was wandering around the store when I saw an e-reader (pictured right) sitting on the shelf near the door. Yes, an e-reader in BB&B. A color one with a touch screen for under $200, at that. Barnes & Noble is the content provider, but from the options, it seems a lot like a Kindle. I couldn’t actually hold one since the display was quite fixed and non-interactive, but it really made me do a double take. Is it any good? I have no clue. But it’s being sold on the shelf of a store that does not come to mind when you think books. This really reinforces the my notion that, within five years, a company like Amazon will throw in a Kindle for free when you order five or more books. -- Read More

Stanford University's 'Bookless' Library

From the New Yorker's Book Bench: Amid all the fuss over Stanford University’s announcement that they are unveiling a bookless library (is it the wave of the future? A sign of the literary apocalypse?), everyone seemed to be missing one rather obvious point: when it opens in August it will, in spite of the misleading nomenclature, contain books.

True, the new physics and engineering library will house eighty-five percent fewer books, but it isn’t some sort of thought experiment (if a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear, will it still make a noise? If a library contains no books, is it still a library?) or Borgesian symbol. In fact, it isn’t even a sign of the end of books; it’s a result of schools being so overcrowded with them. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford buys the equivalent of two hundred and seventy-three books a day. As you can imagine, that adds up to an awful lot of shelf space and, as a result, Stanford has been forced to move many of their titles to storage facilities miles away

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/07/the-dawn-of-the-bookless-library.html#ix... ...and listen to the NPR story on the 'bookless library'. The library opens August 2.

Podcasts Without A Fruit-Based Player

Sometimes posts are not easily made to Drupal. Drupal likes text and can be tricky to use if you want to incorporate images into posts. When you have a situation of multiple screenshots to display with text, Adobe Acrobat format can be a better container for such information.

In recognition of that the software & service review article attached to this post is available in Adobe Acrobat format only. Click the download link to access the piece. Podcast subscribers will automatically receive the PDF in their playlist as if it were yet more liner notes.

Harvard Library Works to Maintain Stature in the Shift to Digital

The shift is taking place...from acquisition, to access reports the Globe.

Facing an unprecedented budget crunch, the Harvard University cancelled print copies of more than 1,000 journal titles last year in favor of online subscriptions. And they're is turning toward other universities to collaborate and share acquisitions, all while trying to maintain its libraries’ stature in an increasingly digital world.

“We need to worry less about buying everything, and instead ensure that we have access to these materials,’’ said David Lamberth, a divinity school professor who is overseeing a group tasked with reinventing Harvard’s libraries. “The real issue is giving present and future scholars the ability to find what they need to find.’’

Students can now sit in their dorms and order books directly from their computers to be delivered within 24 hours to the library of their choice from the Harvard Depository, a high-density storage facility where a forklift is required to fetch books from 30-foot shelves. In some cases, students can avoid the library altogether; materials can be downloaded or the library will scan relevant book chapters and e-mail them.

How Green Is My iPad?

It's been out a few days now. It's been vetted, analyzed and evaluated and now we need to know...How Green is My iPad? Or is my iPad Thai green? (a joke in progress...)

From the New York Times:

Bookworms are bound to wonder if tomes-on-paper will one day become quaint relics. But the question also arises, which is more environmentally friendly: an e-reader or an old-fashioned book?

To find the answer, we turned to life-cycle assessment, which evaluates the ecological impact of any product, at every stage of its existence, from the first tree cut down for paper to the day that hardcover decomposes in the dump. With this method, we can determine the greenest way to read.

(A note about e-readers: some technical details — for instance, how those special screens are manufactured — are not publicly available and these products vary in their exact composition. We’ve based our estimates on a composite derived from available information. It’s also important to keep in mind that we’re focusing on the e-reader aspect of these devices, not any other functions they may offer.)

Swimming in Magazines

Magazine executives spent much of last year telling anyone who would listen that they were taking their brands digital. Now five leading magazine publishers are extolling the “power of print.” They will spend millions of dollars on an ad campaign saying that magazines remain an effective advertising medium in the age of the Internet because of the depth and lasting quality of print, compared with the ephemeral nature of much of the Web’s content.

“The Internet is fleeting. Magazines are immersive,” says one ad, which is slated to appear in May issues of the participating publications. The first spread features a photo of swimmer Michael Phelps with the headline “We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940704575090120113003314.html

Five lessons from my e-book experiment

Five lessons from my e-book experiment
1. The weight is a nice advantage
2. Page turning is less irritating than you’d think
3. Being able to search a book is very useful
4. Text formatting can be annoyingly sloppy
5. Availability of titles is the biggest problem
"The result of the experiment? I’m back to reading books on paper. I’ll explain why in a moment but here are five things I learned from my e-reading experiment."

Emerging Trends and Technologies in Libraries and Information Services Blog

The aim of the International Symposium on Emerging Trends and Technologies in Libraries and Information Services (ETTLIS-2010) is, once again, to bring researchers, academicians, business community and research scholars on a common platform to share their experiences, innovative ideas and research findings about the aspects of emerging trends and technologies in the field of knowledge resource centres and information services.

Access blog at: ETTLIS 2010 http://ettlis2010.ning.com/profiles/blog/list

EBSCO's exclusive content

Via Joyce Valenza's blog Neverendingsearch on School Library Journal:

"At two of the luncheons I attended, EBSCO revealed they now have an exclusive deal to provide the content of many of our most popular, popular magazines. [...]

The publishers of a number of popular magazines, concerned that library users were accessing their content for free and not subscribing to their publications, sought a strategy to recover lost revenue.

They told the database vendors they were going to go with one, and only one aggregator and that they wanted a substantial price for their content.

The publishers solicited RFPs (requests for proposals) and EBSCO, at a very substantial cost, won the bid."

Read the whole post (and see a partial list of affected titles)

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