Monthly archives: October, 2013

How to get the most out of library e-books via the right gadget, text to speech, and otherwise

Want to hear text to speech from free library books on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android machine and the usual app can’t do “read-aloud” unless audiobooks count? A new, expert and insightful report by David Rothman focuses on the new Kindle Fire HDXes. He recommends them to be among the top choices if you care more about reading than about tech and can accept Amazon’s proprietary requirements. His article is written for both library staffers and patrons who are passionate about e-books.

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Gadgets, Libraries & Librarians, Library Software & Technology

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texaswith hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them

David Rothman reports on the world’s first all-digital public library system – a groundbreaking new book-less library in Texas. The library offers 600 e-readers, 200 preloaded tablets for children, 48 desktop computers, and 20 iPads and laptops; patrons can check out e-readers (and maybe other equipment?). The library also comes with eager young humans to help get people up to speed on the technology.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets

Family literacy and K-12 success: How a well-stocked public e-library system for the U.S. could help our students catch up with The Smartest Kids in the World

David Rothman advocates the position that family literacy and the related recreational reading count endlessly, whether books are paper and ink or swarms of electrons. And not just learning-to-read family literacy. Parents’ efforts should go on right up to the day students leave for college, and this is where public libraries, serving all ages, have a special role to play—being able to accommodate both adults and young people, even though we also need school libraries.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets

How to keep e-books on young cellphone users minds – and encourage their friends to join the fun

David Rothman reviews the positive and negative outcomes of the “Library Everywhere” project in Uganda. He urges organizations, libraries and public interest groups to be sure not to just hand out tablets and hope that low-income families and others will read e-books. Also keep library e-books on the minds of children and adults.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets

Shutdown Cuts Off Public Access to Government Information

Access to government information is important in the daily lives of the people of the United States. During the shutdown of the federal government, paper and digital versions of government publications are either not available at all or the web sites are not being updated. Bernadine Abbott Hoduski has documented the specific impact shared by Librarians around the nation who report that they are unable to help patrons find the information they need to do research, write articles for journals and newspapers, prepare class assignments, find laws and regulations relevant to the conduct of their businesses, find information needed to file law suits, complete mortgage applications, access weather information, do historical and genealogical research, and contact government officials through agency web sites. Professors teaching future librarians, teachers, geographers, scientists, and other user communities, are unable to access web sites needed for their classes.

Subjects: Business Research, Congress, E-Government, Features, Law Librarians, Legal Research, Libraries & Librarians, Reference Services

Education and Academic Resources on the Internet

Marcus P. Zillman’s guide links researchers to a wide range of reliable resources for all professions and skill levels. Marcus covers topics including: education, chemistry, economics, mathematics, philosophy, engineering, MBA and PhD/Dissertation/Thesis/Academic Writing resources, as well as increasingly popular MOOCS/Open Courseware (OCW) resources.

Subjects: Features, Web-Based Training

DNA Evidence: Brave New World, Same Old Problems

Criminal law expert Ken Strutin guides us through the critical facets that comprise the backbone of investigative forensics in the 21st Century – the database. Ken states that of all information gathering techniques, genetic databanking has become the holy grail of prosecutions and the last resort for exonerations. It is both the cause of and solution to many problems in the administration of justice. Thus, DNA forensics highlights the longstanding tension between scientific understanding and legal reasoning. While DNA’s scientific reputation is very near to magic, its forensic applications are subject to the faults and limitations of every kind of evidence offered as proof in a court of law. Ken’s article collects research on the law and science of genetic evidence at the pre-conviction stage. It focuses on the role of DNA in identification, investigation and prosecution of crime, social and privacy issues, and to some degree exculpation or evidence of third party culpability.

Subjects: Criminal Law, Features, Legal Research
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