Author archives

David Rothman is the founder and publisher of the TeleRead e-book site and cofounder of LibraryCity.org. He is also author of The Solomon Scandals novel and six tech-related books on topics ranging from the Internet to laptops. Passionate on digital divide issues, he is now pushing for the creation of a national digital library endowment.

UsBook: Toward a family-friendly Facebook alternative to preserve your memories and help future historians–while respecting privacy

David Rothman’s commentary focuses on how the Digital Public Library of America is still on track to be a mostly academic creature despite the P word in its name. David supports and documents innovative, creative and value-added goals that with proper focus, can bolster the DPLA onto the level of a world-class academic digital library system, as opposed to siphoning off badly needed resources and other forms of support from public librarians who should be forming their own e-system. At the same time, Rothman believes that the DPLA and public libraries should work closely on joint projects, including an alternative to Facebook–not a clone but a different kind of social network.

Subjects: Legal Technology, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology

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

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

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

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

Ouch! Text to speech is also AWOL from THIS year’s Paperwhite from Amazon

David Rothman’s discussion of the newest Kindle Paperwhite E Ink reader from Amazon highlights that the device is still missing text to speech – among the very features Jeff Bezos touted when he unveiled the second Kindle in 2009. He advises that we refer to the Paperwhite users guide and see what’s AWOL.

Subjects: Features, Gadgets, Legal Technology, Product Reviews

The DPLA and the risks of gentrifying Americas public libraries

David Rothman’s commentary proposes that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) should turn itself into the Digital Academic Library of America or something similar while encouraging public libraries to establish their own system, ideally through COSLA, a group of state library administrators. Both systems could share not just content but also a common catalog for patrons wanting it, an infrastructure and technical services organization, and overlapping board members—while hewing to the systems’ respective priorities.

Subjects: Features, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology

Free ePub book shows potential of local librarians as content-providers: Whale bombings, Pearl Harbor and other stories enliven Q & A with now-dead airman

David Rothman brings much needed attention to free ePub books, licensed under Creative Commons, offering free downloads that include transcripts of original content, such this one, that he highlights from the Veterans History Project Oral Histories.

Subjects: E-Books

E-Books and the Miami-Dade Library Crisis: One Way to Help Thwart the Misers

David Rothman makes a case that the time has come for a coherent national strategy to help speed up digitization of library systems like Miami’s and use the efficiencies of e-books and other digital items to squeeze more out of tax dollars—while also increasing the total amount of money for libraries and content. In other words, be more generous at all levels of government but at the same time expect more value. Avoid ever shutting down neighborhood branches, valuable in many ways beyond loaning bestsellers and other titles, and don’t get rid of all paper books, especially picture books for children.

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

New Version of Voice Dream: first-rate program for reading e-books aloud

A new incarnation of the Voice Dream text-to-speech program–for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch–hit the Apple app store recently. David Rothman says that at $9.99 is it worth every penny.

Subjects: Features
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