Two founders of Sun Microsystems have created two nonprofits to bring open-source textbooks to kindergarten through high school classes.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a child respond to a book, and author and New Yorker blogger Susan Orlean takes note of that in her latest twitter inquiry to her readers. She writes about her five year-old son:
“I decided it was time for us to refresh his bookshelves. My default in these cases is to find a friendly librarian or a smart bookstore employee, but my boss (me) wouldn’t give me time off from work, so I was stuck at home. Inspired by an earlier experiment with book recommendations on Twitter, I decided to pose the question online (with the slightly cumbersome hashtag #booksthatchangekidsworlds) and sat back while the answers flooded in. What I have loved about reading through them is not just the great suggestions for my son but the shiver of pleasure I get each time I see a title that meant everything to me when I was a kid but that I haven’t thought about in years. ”
Find the list at New Yorker.com.
Google said it was the first time the site had been blocked since March.
Full story in the NYT:
A little over a decade ago, if anyone had told Vimala and Umesh Malhotra that their mission in life would be to set up libraries for children, they would probably have laughed. But then, they wouldn’t have accounted for boredom.
The Malhotras were a typical IT couple and had just moved back to Bangalore in 1999 with their four-year-old son Tarutr, after nearly eight years at Infosys in California. But little Tarutr was bored. What he and his mother missed the most was a good library. Vimala says, “We used to go to the library for my son, and it had so many activities; back in India, the lack of a good library where children could have their space, where no one tells them to keep quiet, and it is their hangout zone was lacking.”
That got her thinking about setting up a library. More from Forbes.com.
In-house boutiques are Barnes & Noble’s latest front in the battle with Amazon over their competing e-reader devices.
Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/media/30nook.html?_r=1&ref=technology
Kindle iPhone/iPad App Now Smarter With A Dictionary, Wikipedia, And Google
Despite their clear commitment to the hardware version of the Kindle, Amazon continues to make the Kindle apps that run on the iPad and iPhone better. Today, version 2.2 of the app brings a full dictionary with it. This matches the functionality of Apple’s own iBooks app, but the Kindle implementation is even a little better.
The feature also includes a link for the “Full Definition” of the word. Clicking on this will take you to the new Oxford American Dictionary that is automatically downloaded with this 2.2 version of the app. This dictionary contains some 250,000 entries, Amazon says.
Full article: http://tcrn.ch/bp9zZt
Novelist Anne Rice says she’s leaving Christianity
Anne Rice has had a religious conversion: She’s no longer a Christian.
“In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control,” the author wrote Wednesday on her Facebook page. “In the name of … Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”
Study: Libraries Top The Competition In Lending Movies
Red boxes, red envelopes and the blue and yellow Blockbuster stores may dominate the movie rental landscape, but according to a recent survey, when Americans want to watch a DVD, they are most likely to turn to their local library.
The survey, released this year by OCLC, a nonprofit library co-operative and research organization, found that public libraries in the United States lend an average 2.1 million videos every day, slightly more than the 2 million that Netflix ships. The other top two competitors, Redbox and Blockbuster, come in at 1.4 million and 1.2 million respectively, according to daily averages provided by company representatives.
State librarian Jan Walsh is calling it quits on a long public library career, effective Aug. 31. The Office of the Secretary of State, which has overseen the library since budget cuts earlier in the decade, put out a news release announcing the decision by Walsh, who has worked as a librarian for 38 years.
It said, in part:
“The State Library is a special part of Washington’s past and present, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as State Librarian and working with such a talented and dedicated staff,” Walsh said. “I’m thrilled that the number of people using the State Library has skyrocketed in recent years. It clearly shows that this library and libraries in general are more important and more useful than ever, especially during these tough economic times.”
Read more: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/07/29/1547402/state-librarian-walsh-putting.html#ixzz0v6LCslg0