E-book pioneer and advocate David Rothman’s commentary shines a critical light on the reading habits of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who reads his average 50 books each year, in print format. The potential impact of Microsoft in the e-book market as well as in funding support of e-books for public libraries has been muted. Rothman’s insights include hope to win over much needed support for free public sector digital libraries.
The Next Librarian of Congress – What to do about the Internet Archive and Google Books scanning project?
David Rothman offers his insights and perspective on the work and challenges that await the next Librarian of Congress. He calls for an individual who is not only steeped in the requisite expertise of research, technology, learning, teaching and freedom of information, but in following with a cause he has long championed he states “we need someone with “a love of reading—including the e-book variety.”
In Warren Buffetts own backyard: Underfunded Omaha libraries. National digital library endowment, anyone?
David Rothman calls out an increasingly pervasive dichotomy of action by some of America’s wealthiest corporate philanthropists in regard to supporting libraries, literacy and equal access to comprehensive public library collections. As Rothman documents, Omaha Public Libraries’ spending per capita is substantially below that of surrounding communities and the current national average on library content spending is $4 per capita – or less than the price of a Big Mac. The National digital library endowment is certainly in need of public and private support on a significant and transparent level, and Rothman continues to advocate for progress to achieve this goal.
David Rothman shares a recent story about a boy whose quest to read in spite of even minimal resources was captured and shared around the world, resulting in a flood of free books, thanks to the mail carrier who took the time to listen, and the initiative to help. At the heart of this example of action is David’s continuous work promoting a national digital library endowment and well-stocked national digital library systems.
David Rothman writes that the Voice Dream Reader comes with wonderful navigational and annotative capabilities as well as a rich assortment of voices. It is integrated with DropBox, Google Drive and EverNotes, and you can even download it directly from Project Gutenberg.
David Rothman provides critical insight into the inequities in the availability of public school library resources between different areas within DC, but which are not at all unique to this city.
Seven ways to grow the e-book business while helping libraries and readers: Ideas based on my two decades of writing about it
E-book sales are not posting impressive sales increases, at least not among big publishers. One major reason is that much of the technology is difficult to use. Even increased library statistics for e-loans are not resulting in corresponding increases in funding and support for libraries around the country. Based on more than two decades of writing about e-books, David Rothman suggests seven library-and-consumer friendly ways to boost e-book growth.
David Rothman describes why the BiblioTech library in Bexar County, Texas is a landmark achievement worthy of implementation and iteration in towns and cities throughout the US. His article describes the success of this variation on a library system detailed in a new book authored by Nelson Wolff, the visionary behind the country’s first all-digital public library system. Wolff is the judge of Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio. The title is roughly equivalent to the head of a county board. Judge Wolff and his wife, Tracy, are donors and fund-raisers for BiblioTech and other civic causes, and his book is a how-to pathfinder to “bridge the literacy and technology gaps.”
David Rothman continues his reporting on the status of Text to Speech applications that have yet to be added to E-Ink readers due to the FCC’s extension of vendor exemptions from complying with a key benefit for the disabled that is part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
Want read-aloud in Kindles and other readers? Use FCC’s easy online form by January 9, 2015. David H. Rothman calls attention to a pivotal upcoming event for readers everywhere: On January 28, 2015 if the Federal Communications Commission makes the right choice, a regulatory waiver will expire. The waiver has exempted Amazon and other E Ink manufacturers from having to comply with rules based on the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act signed by President Obama in 2010. Last year, at the urging of the National Federation for the Blind, scores of blind people objected to the waiver. And the FCC listened. “We believe that, given the swift pace at which e-reader and tablet technologies are evolving and the expanding role of ACS in electronic devices, granting a waiver beyond this period is outweighed by the public interest and congressional intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities have access to advanced communications technologies.”