Electronic Publications

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.

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)

Tablet Fever

Even though it's technically just a rumor, many are speculating that a new tablet computer from Apple could act as a savior to the newspaper and magazine industries. The tablet computer concept has been around for a long time, but with an Apple announcement expected at the end of the month, digital media consultant Mark Potts says it's for real this time. Transcript here

Himachal Pradesh for first ever Hi-Tech Multilingual Braille Libraries

The salient features of the Braille Library System developed by Modular Infotech and ACE are that books in Hindi, and all Indian languages and English can be converted to Braille from their soft copies. After the conversion to Braille, these books can be indexed and stored in pen-drive storage devices in a compact manner.

Not Just Some National Geographic, All Of It

It's the bane of many a public librarian. The phone rings, you answer it, and then politely decline the caller's offer to donate the last 60 years of National Georgraphic magazine to your library.

"Yes, I'm sure they're in fine condition. Oh? Been in your mother-in-law's house for the last 60 years huh? Yes, I know you want to help out, but we've got several years of it already. Yes, sir I can tell you're happy she's dead but we just don't have any use for that many magazines. No, actually they're not all that valuable - you do realize they print several hundred thousand at a time, right? Yes, so they're not exactly rare or anything."

Now there's a much easier way to get every single issue of National Geographic from the last 120 years and it doesn't involve any donations. You can buy it on its very own hard drive. That's right, you can get every issue of National Geographic since the dawn of humankind on a 160 GB external drive. As a bonus, the collection only takes up 60 GB, so you've got another 100GB to do with as you please.

I wonder if that'd be enough room for every issue of Popular Mechanics...

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