February 2010

Libraries Lead the eBook Revolution

Have you read an e-book yet? Do you think it means the end of bookshops and libraries as we know them? Will book people have to turn into e-book people to meet the brave new world? It’s all a bit early to say.

I [Philip Harvey, see below] haven’t read an e-book and when asked by borrowers if I feel that my profession of librarian is under threat, I ask them if they themselves have used an e-book. No, is the consistent reply. But they know chapter and verse about the developments, usually from what they have seen on the internet. The new slimline gadgets can display everything a text maniac wants to get their hands on. Or so it seems.

More on ebooks, Google, digitisation, and the Information Revolution from Philip Harvey, President of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Library Association in Australia’s Eureka Street.

Separated by Distance, But Reading Together with Readeo

Shelf Awareness children’s editor Jennifer M. Brown is working with Readeo’s CEO and founder Coby Neuenschwander to launch the new service, which promotes shared reading over the Internet.

Readeo (try it for free) allows two people who are separated geographically (such as a grandparent and grandchild or a military parent and his or her child) to share books together in real time while connected in a BookChat (in which they can see each other via a video connection). On the screen, they see the same digitized picture book and turn the pages together.

Readeo is launching with well-known titles from four publishing partners: Blue Apple Books, Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. In her role as editor on the site, Brown works with Readeo’s publishing partners to select the titles she believes best enhance the read-aloud experience.

Concern at Amazon as iPad is Announced

On Jan. 27, Steven P. Jobs was still standing on a stage in San Francisco, presenting Apple’s new iPad, when the phones started ringing. Senior managers from Amazon.com were calling newspaper, magazine and book publishers trying to glean any information possible about the deals Apple was offering them to supply content for its new reading device.

Amazon, which pioneered the e-reader category with its Kindle devices, is determined not to be out-priced by Apple or any other rival.

Since December, Amazon has been pushing publishers to sign a new round of legal agreements that would guarantee that the Kindle price for their content is always the same or lower than the price on other electronic reading devices, such as the iPad or the Sony Reader. The clause, a variation of a legal concept known as “most favored nation,” would guarantee that Amazon’s customers would always get the best price for electronic versions of magazines, newspapers and books.
NYTimes Bits.

The Watchers

The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State

Do we want our government to have access to the many electronic records and footprints we leave scattered across computer systems every day? Reporter Shane Harris argues in his new book, The Watchers, that a battle over this question has been going on since long before 9/11 and he puts one man at the center of the quest for more access to our personal data: John Poindexter.

Listen to embedded file above or download MP3 here.

Recycling Old Book Covers into Postcards

Lifehacker: If you’re looking for a clever way to reuse portions of books before sending them off to be recycled, turning the covers into postcards is a novel way to give them one last send off.

Over at the home and craft blog Re-Nest they have a tutorial from Jason Thompson, author of Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book. He writes:

The idea for this project comes from a set of postcards I sent to a Swedish friend more than a decade ago. I mailed him a handmade postcard made from the paperback cover torn from a copy of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker. He mailed back a postcard right away written on the back of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, and a tradition was created.

Different Strokes

Companies are using software that analyzes our typing patterns and helps them figure out if we are who we say we are online. But is it a privacy violation? Should we be very afraid? Scout Analytics’ Matt Shanahan discusses the uses and potential abuses of the technology, while Citizen Media Law Project blogger Andrew Moshirnia says it’s an ominous new twist on handwriting analysis.

Listen with the embedded player above or download the MP3 with this link.

Best Friends Awards

Is the friends group at your library doing a top-notch job of publicizing their meetings and events and recruiting new members? If so, they might want to enter the ALTAFF Best Friends Awards.

ALTAFF is the organization formerly known as Prince FOLUSA and is now the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (have we left anyone out?). I must say, I kind of miss the quaintness of the old FOLUSA website now that it’s part of ALA.

The ALTAFF Best Friends Awards recognize Friends around the country for their print and electronic materials that promote the group and its special programs and projects. The awards do not evaluate the type or scope of Friends programs, rather the printed materials that promote programs and special projects coordinated by the Friends.

Submissions are due April 1, 2010, and here’s the entry form.

Bookplate From The Liebert Lavatory Library

Bookplate From The Liebert Lavatory Library

Whenever I see a book about the history of bathroom fixtures. I buy it for my collection.
No, I never mentioned it to my analyst .
Here are the titles I now own:
Toilets of the World by Morna E. Gregory and Sian James
Clean And Decent by Lawrence Wright
The Conquest of Water by Jean-Pierre Goubert
The Compleat Loo by Roger Kilroy
The Polished Earth byArchibaldM. Maddock,11
Temples of Convenience by Ligunda Lambton