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Posts tagged Texas

Texas town turns abandoned Wal-Mart into public library
January 31, 2015 | 6:47 pm

walmart-1The fortunes of big-box stores rise and fall. Ever optimistic, retail store chains build stores anywhere they think might turn a profit, and then end up closing many of them when the economy goes south. It’s not uncommon to see the perfectly good buildings they leave behind repurposed for something else: churches, business schools, offices. But McAllen, Texas took a different tack with their abandoned Wal-Mart: they turned it into an immense single-floor public library and community center. Looking at all the pictures in the article, it seems like the kind of place I’d love to visit. Not only...

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community
July 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

textgirl2A friend of mine in his 40s is about to start teaching in Houston, Texas, and he recently shared a discovery. Many teenagers in Houston tote cell phones, but don’t know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. This would jibe with a 2012 poll showing similar ignorance among Americans at large. A bigger issue also comes up. Just how much do young people care about books in the first place? Americans 15-19 spend only about four minutes reading for fun on a typical weekend day. Too bad. Students who love books are more likely to excel in school....

BiblioTech bookless library in San Antonio proves very popular
January 3, 2014 | 6:41 pm

San Antonio seems to have a thing for bookless libraries. First, the University of Texas in San Antonio opened the nation’s first bookless library in 2010. Then a San Antonio judge had ambitions of opening the nation’s first bookless public library system last year. Turns out he was successful. Local NBC affiliate NBCDFW has an article on the library system, which has been in operation for four months now and may surpass 100,000 visitors by the end of its first year. Opened in a low-income neighborhood, the library full of iMacs, iPads, and e-readers helps bring literacy and the...

National digital libraries for Carmela Hernandez and family—not just the American elite
December 6, 2013 | 2:15 pm

national digital librariesLibraryCity has just posted a major series telling how an initiative for national digital libraries could serve ordinary people here in the U.S., not merely the American elite. Sounds like a given. But it isn’t, alas. The Digital Public Library of America is a wonder, but judged by the Five Laws of Library Science, it is more for academics and others in the elite than for the country as a whole. I’m reminded of the old Literary Digest poll saying that Alf Landon would wallop FDR in the 1936 election. The Digest relied too much on well-off respondents and was out of...

Library book overdue in Texas? Go directly to jail
November 5, 2013 | 12:05 pm

Texas, it's a big country where the men walk tall and even the librarians are packing. Or looks that way. Because when a man in the City of Copperas Cove in Coryell County, central Texas, went three years overdue on a library book recently, they reportedly slung him in jail. [caption id="attachment_100366" align="aligncenter" width="663"] In Texas, the librarian's arm is long[/caption] According to the local report quoting court records, a Mr. Jory Enck was booked into jail for not returning a GED study guide he borrowed in 2010, after ignoring repeated requests from the library. He was then released on bond. This follows...

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texas—with hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them
October 20, 2013 | 1:11 pm

bibliotechLast year knocked the library system in Rockford, Illinois, for planning to spend around a quarter of its $1.19-million collection budget on e-books. A third of Rockfordians were living below the poverty line in 2009 by one estimate. And yet the local library initially wanted to start out with just 50 Kindle e-readers---hardly the best solution for people too poor or technophobic to buy and use e-book devices. The local NAACP and other groups yelled foul, just as they should have. So what’s happening down in Bexar County, Texas? BiblioTech, the world’s first all-digital public library system, opened there September 14...

Calling All Young Adult Publishers!
May 20, 2013 | 10:44 am

young adultI'd like to introduce you to my friend Alexander Christou. Xander, as he likes to be called, is eleven years old and one of the smartest kids I know. He’s a passionate reader, a great soccer player, speaks Greek (his father is from Greece), and is a more engaging, interesting conversationalist than some adults I know! Xander blogs about what he reads from his home in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his parents: Karen, an artist, and Christos, a designer. He’s a huge fan and supporter of Austin’s great indie bookstore, BookPeople, and he's in touch with Topher Bradfield, their Children's Outreach Coordinator...

Amazon announces three new fulfillment centers in Texas
February 3, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Amazon last week announced plans to open three new fulfillment centers in the state of Texas, creating more than 1,000 jobs. The sites, which will utilize advanced technology to help fulfill customer orders, will be located in the cities of Coppell, Haslet and Schertz.  Coppell and Haslet are both located north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, while Schertz is located just outside San Antonio. According to a release, Amazon fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs, not including the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of 9 percent...

Dwarf-Sized Public E-Libraries vs. Abundance
January 21, 2013 | 12:00 pm

People in Bexar County, Texas, should be excited about the 10,000-e-book “BiblioTech” library system that the country is starting from scratch—without paper books. This is reportedly the first U.S. public library system to shun paper, cardboard and ink, except for computer printouts. Any books are better than none, and besides, the 10K figure encompasses only copyrighted books, not the tens of thousands of free classics that library patrons will be able to read electronically. What’s more, Bexar will add to the 10,000. County Judge Nelson W. Wolff, the main brain behind the plan, deserves praise for his open-mindedness about e-books, their cost-saving potential and other advantages. Many people, especially dyslectic Americans and...

The First Bookless Public Library is Coming to San Antonio
January 13, 2013 | 4:26 pm

We knew it would come this ... eventually. Did we not? Honestly, I figured we had a good five years ahead of us before libraries began opening their doors with nary a physical book in sight. Shows what I know. From Gizmodo this afternoon comes the half shocking, half predictable news that the Bexar County satellite office, which sits about seven miles south of the Alamo, will soon become one of the nation's first bookless libraries. A Bexar County judge by the name of Nelson Wolff is the self-described book lover who came up with the idea, which isn't actually limited to just...

Texas, Florida lead transformation to digital textbooks
January 13, 2012 | 10:38 am

448273 MRDC Simba H From the press release: Florida and Texas led a major push for digital materials in the classroom in 2011, strengthening the foundation for the use of technology intextbook adoption states. According to a recent report from publishing forecast firm Simba Information, sales generated from state textbook adoption programs totaled $660 million in 2011. Texas provided a snapshot of the digital trend in K-12 schools when it called for all submissions in supplemental science in grades 5-12 to be digital. In addition, Texas included digital materials for the language arts; however the uptake was slight, with teachers preferring their own materials in digital formats, rather...

Benetech launches “Accessible Books for Texas” with funding from Texas Education Agency
April 8, 2011 | 9:55 am

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 9 52 08 AM From the press release: Benetech today announced that it was recently awarded a contract with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to conduct training and outreach on the benefits of accessible instructional materials (AIM) for K-12 students with disabilities in Texas and to ensure availability of AIM through a dedicated conversion effort on a specific set of adopted materials. Under the terms of the contract, Benetech will help K-12 educators in Texas gain a broader understanding of what digital accessible books are, how they can help students to succeed and how to obtain and use the accessible materials. Benetech has named this project...