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Posts tagged LibraryCity.org

The DPLA and the risks of gentrifying America’s public libraries
August 29, 2013 | 9:26 pm

DPLAJim Duncan, now executive director of the Colorado Librarian Consortium, offered some needed candor about the Digital Public Library of America for NPR reporter Laura Sydell’s August 19 segment on the DPLA. The reaction from certain NPR commenters online? Nasty bashing of Duncan and other public librarians. One listener, for example, accused public librarians of "hopping on board the ‘library patrons only read trash and would rather make this a rec center’ train.” Now back to reality. Duncan himself used to be an academic librarian, and he hopes that the DPLA will succeed hugely and offer a wealth of cultural and historical riches, in line with his...

Free ePub Book Shows Potential of Local Librarians as Content-Providers (Video)
August 16, 2013 | 3:28 pm

librariansWhale Bombings, Pearl Harbor and Other Stories Enliven Q&A with Now-Dead Airman * * * Some unlucky whales died in certain stretches of the Pacific because inexperienced U.S. airmen mistook the long shapes in the water for Japanese submarines. More than a few offbeat recollections of this kind liven up an extended interview with the late Attilio F. Caporiccio, a B-17 crewman before and during World War II. The Q&A is now a free ePub book licensed under Creative Commons; just click on the link to download it. "Cappy" also recalled seeing the faces of Japanese pilots attacking Hickam Field—next to the Pearl Harbor naval base—because...

Obama speech and PTA-Amazon alliance validate LibraryCity’s K-12 priorities
June 19, 2013 | 3:30 pm

PTA-AmazonK-12 led my list of priorities in the 1990s for a well-stocked national digital library system blended in with local schools and libraries. Along the way, I suggested that Washington nudge Silicon Valley to come up with affordable iPad-style devices with high-resolution color screens and multimedia capabilities. Originally called TeleRead, this vision has evolved since my 1992 Computerworld article, but a major constant has remained, among others—the need to make it affordable, easy, and enticing for K-12 students and their parents to read books. That must have been on Al Gore’s mind, too, when he called for the digitization of the Library of Congress. Now let’s...

Review: Voice Dream Reader e-reading app
May 13, 2013 | 11:49 am

Voice DreamNote: An update of this post on LibraryCity.org focuses on education-related issues of read-aloud apps. A Catch-22 dogs those of us who most often read e-books visually but also want to hear them when we’re exercising or driving. The usual e-bookware doesn’t always come with or work with text to speech capabilities. Even if it does, we can’t control the aural part as closely as we’d prefer. I myself like the Moon+ Reader Pro Android app, and I’m in love with the added-on “Amy” voice, a British-accented delight from another developer, Ivona, now an arm of Amazon. But I can’t revisit already-viewed text quickly enough while I’m hearing audio by...

A national digital library endowment: More details
March 26, 2013 | 10:00 am

National Digital Library endowmentLibraryCity inspired mentions on The Atlantic magazine’s website and elsewhere with a call for a national digital library endowment for the United States. Endowment funds would come entirely or almost entirely from philanthropists, in the beginning at least, given the hostility of so many politicians toward new programs. The endowment would be just one source of library funding, but it could make a huge difference. Ahead is a follow-up, an informal FAQ, to which you can speed instantly; and LibraryCity will welcome your own questions, suggested answers, and other ideas via email or in the comments area. But first, some background for newcomers to these issues. Who says...

Hurricane Sandy and the national digital library issue: With smartened-up journalists and voters, could we have stopped or slowed down global warming?
November 13, 2012 | 10:30 am

Canned and dried foods, flashlights, radios, cellphones and good UPSes aren’t the only essentials that the wired might buy in an anticipation of the growing number of weather-related exigencies like Hurricane Sandy. I’ve also purchased a $99 battery-powered portable hotspot through which my iPad and other Wi-Fi-equipped devices  can stay in touch with the rest of the world when the power goes off. In the best-served locations, optimal speeds supposedly should reach 1.4 Mbps with the company’s current technology, perhaps even making Skype possible. No need for a cellphone with tethering capabilities, and my wife and I will be able to recharge the device with...

Kindle Fire-usable version of OverDrive is now available in Amazon’s app store
October 16, 2012 | 12:27 pm

A Kindle Fire-usable version of the OverDrive e-library app has now reached the Amazon app store. That could give the app’s Android version a nice boost—the Fire is essentially an Android machine turned into an Amazon cash register. Fire owners earlier had to go to the OverDrive site to download the app unofficially. But for me personally, the big news is optional all-text bolding in the OverDrive app for iPads, iPhones and Touches. So many library fans have their own wish lists of accessibility features, and full bolding led mine, since I cherish an extra-high-contrast view for reading e-books, even on LCD displays. Earlier in 2012 OverDrive obliged with optional...

Kindle Fire HDs apparently can’t change line spacing …
September 17, 2012 | 12:10 pm

Kindle Fire HD tablets apparently can’t change line spacing when you’re reading an e-book. Is this part of a consumer-hostile niching initiative by Amazon to high-pressure my fellow Kindle addicts into buying more than one gizmo? Yes, I suspect—if we consider similar disappointments, such as the omission of sound in the Paperwhite E Ink reader line. Separately, it appears that at least for now, Amazon won’t offer a text-to-speech upgrade for owners of the original Fire (above photo). Let’s speak up and change that! Big thanks to Andrea for nailing this one down, and I hope other LibraryCity community participants will also raise usability issues with Amazon in a civil...