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Posts tagged libraries

Leeds Central Library hosts Hogwarts
February 17, 2015 | 10:25 am

In an event that recalls the grand relocation of Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute; at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Hogwarts comes to Central Library" in Leeds on February 17th, in time for the UK schools half term. "Experience something magical at Central Library this half term," says the announcement. "Join us for a Harry Potter themed afternoon where you will take a trip around this historical building and explore its creepy corridors. Learn to brew potions and play Quidditch with some very special guests." Leeds Central Library, with its Grade II listed building status and late...

National Libraries Day cites decline in UK libraries
February 11, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The UK's National Libraries Day on February 7th passed off with some sad testaments to the protracted collapse of the British library sector, as well as events and statements in favor and defense of libraries from across the country. As children's author Cathy Cassidy says on the National Libraries Day blog, "sadly, many of us no longer have a local library to visit or celebrate. Over 300 libraries have closed in the UK in the last four years; hundreds more have been passed out of council control and into the hands of private ‘partners’ or community volunteers. With promises that the next...

Cheap blind-friendly E Ink Kindles with read-aloud and audio nav capabilities: A how-to for Amazon
February 9, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Shaun Kane at RobotFestI hope that Amazon’s CEO never becomes a blind visionary. But if Jeff Bezos’s eyes should ever go downhill in a serious way---a risk for millions of aging baby boomers---he could still enjoy e-books on inexpensive E Ink Kindles. All he has to do is follow advice from Shaun K. Kane, the Colorado computer scientist in the photo, who has devoted years to accessibility issues. In the case of dedicated e-reading devices from Amazon, that doesn’t just mean the read-aloud which the earlier E Ink Kindles offered before the company yanked the feature away (despite Jeff’s original ballyhoo of text to speech, introduced...

No Paperwhite read-aloud for you! FCC again lets Amazon and friends diss people with disabilities
February 2, 2015 | 12:25 pm

ptaAmazonText to speech would cost a pittance to add to current E Ink readers like Amazon’s Paperwhite and the $200 Voyage. In fact, some earlier Kindles even came with read-aloud. No longer, though. With all the laws on the books, can’t Washington stop this dissing of people with disabilities? In one form or another, the Kindle is so common that it’s become “The Official E-reader of the National PTA.” Yet despite TTS’s potential benefits to millions of Americans, the Federal Communications Commission has just granted the e-reader industry another year’s exemption from the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. The...

ALA goes 3D in program for Midwinter Meeting
January 23, 2015 | 10:25 am

ALA Chicago 2015 The American Library Association has listed 3D printing among the agenda topics at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting, to be held at the McCormick Convention Center in the ALA home base of Chicago, on January 3oth-February 3rd. Other topics include ebook policy, library funding options, national library public policy, and the  implica­tions of the November mid-term Congressional elections for American libraries. The 3D printing session of the Midwinter meeting, “Library 3D Printing—Unlocking the Opportunities, Understanding the Challenges," will cover the technological developments in 3D printing which "are empowering people to learn new skills, launch business ventures and solve complex health problems," and deal with the question:...

Where publishers ought to be behind libraries
January 20, 2015 | 12:25 pm

bookshelves-at-the-libraryAs a recent, rather vexed, letter to the UK Guardian points out, publishers and booksellers facing an apparent decline in appetite for the printed word ought also to be looking to their libraries - and supporting them more. Because it's a no-brainer to conclude that the more libraries are buying books, the more robust and healthy the book trade will be. In the context of a recent article in The Bookseller on apparent declining sales for adult print fiction in the UK, the letter writer, a Ralph Gee of Nottingham, asks: Has the editor of The Bookseller compared the fall of print sales...

Toronto Public Library Buying Used Books?
January 19, 2015 | 1:25 pm

Toronto Public LibraryA controversial story hit my newsfeed this weekend: it seems the Toronto Public Library has launched a new program aimed at reducing wait times for popular best-sellers: they are plumping up the catalogue by buying used copies from library patrons. As the Toronto Star explains: The books it has listed on its “Sell Books to the Library” website page are not books that the public does not want; their authors are not ones who, the great lie of media and festivals, stand to benefit from extra publicity. No, the list is comprised of books so popular that the library is having a...

Lincolnshire County Council goes outlaw in bid to eradicate Lincolnshire public libraries
January 19, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Lincolshire County Council appears to be acting in clear contravention of UK law in persisting with its plan to close many of the county's libraries. At least if the statement on the Save Lincolnshire Libraries website is anything to go by. Entitled "Astonishing Misuse of Public Money and Political Power," it reads: Lincolnshire County Council has published plans to implement its unlawful decision of December 2013 to close thirty libraries unless volunteers take them over. This not only ignores the High Court judgement of July 2014 that quashed this decision but also the Localism Act which gives charities and social enterprises...

Morning Links: Best touchscreen gloves. Reading diversely
January 15, 2015 | 9:00 am

touchscreen glovesSix Best Touchscreen Gloves (Lifehacker) Here are the six pair of touchscreen gloves you swiped right the most on, and now it's time to find a winner. Hurry up, it's freezing. *** Overdrive: eBook Checkouts Up 33% (Library Journal) Public and school libraries that are part of OverDrive’s global network circulated 137 million ebooks, digital audiobooks, and other digital media in 2014—a 33 percent increase compared with 2013, according to statistics released by the company. *** New York City Backs Off School Cell Phone Bans... (Techdirt) Fast forward nearly a decade and Mayor de Blasio -- the first New York City Mayor in city history to have...

Morning Links: Intellectual property myths. Wikipedia expands auto-translation
January 13, 2015 | 9:00 am

wikipediaOn Loving the Library While Building Your Own (Book Riot) So what happened to transform me from an avid library-goer to someone who doesn’t even know where her library card is? *** 10 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Intellectual Property Law (Lifehacker) How well do you understand copyright and trademark law? When you travel about the Internet or make art, do you know what you are and aren't allowed to do, or do you have intellectual property myths stuck in your brain. *** Wikipedia Expands Auto-Translate Feature (The Digital Reader) Wiki Media announced over the weekend that they are expanding the (currently beta) auto-translate feature to...

Weekend Links: Downsides of Kickstarter model for authors. Piracy an unknown with apps
January 11, 2015 | 11:23 am

kickstarterThe Downsides of the High Risk, Low Reward Kickstart Business Model (Dear Author) The problem with Kickstarters is multi-layered and it requires anyone who donates to understand a couple things. *** Piracy is Just as Much an Unknown With Apps As it is with Books (The Digital Reader) Book piracy has always been hard to quantify, but it turns out that is almost as true for apps. *** Authors Guild Gives Up Trying To Sue Libraries For Digitally Scanning Book Collection (Techdirt) The Authors Guild is basically giving up in this case, saying that should the libraries change their practices, it may want to revisit the...

Morning Links: Publish and they will come? Industries ripe for disruption
January 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

disruptionPublish and They Will Come...Right? (Digital Book World) Creating awareness is the most fundamental and crucial step in the book discovery process–and it is a process; discoverability does not end there. *** How Middle School Reading Lists Have Evolved Since 100 Years Ago (GalleyCat) Annie Holmquist over at BetterEd.org dug up the curriculum manual from a 1908 middle school reading list to compare it with modern reading lists. *** Libraries Loan Out 105 Million eBooks in 2014 (GoodeReader) Libraries that do business with Overdrive loaned out 137 million digital assets in 2014, which is a 33% increase from 2013. *** Industries That Are Ripe for Disruption (The...