Saturday, January 29, 2011

Newspapermap - All onlinenewspapers in the world

Newspapermap - All onlinenewspapers in the world

Look at this site - it allows you to select newspapers from around the site.

Fit Libraries Are Future-Proof | American Libraries Magazine

Fit Libraries Are Future-Proof | American Libraries Magazine

This article has really good ideas to get our libraries "fit". With the current economic impact on libraries - we need to start taking action on strengthening our libraries - with less and less funds. Ouch

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two North Texas Library Friends Groups Recognized by ALTAFF

Congratulations to two library Friends groups in our neighboring Northeast Texas Library System (NETLS) area! Both received national recognition during the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) Gala Author Tea during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Diego last week.

Friends of the Ennis Public Library was recognized for creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees and/or advisory committee; recognition of the Friends group; and promotion of the Friends group to the community during National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 17-23, 2010. The Friends of the Rains County Public Library was recognized with honorable mention at the event.

The news was announced Friday by American Libraries, the magazine of the ALA. Read what all they did to earn such recognition:

Virtual Texas and Second Life

Virtual Texas will open soon with a live tour of Antiquity, Texas (a simulated environment in Second Life) on:

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Time: 6-8pm SLT

Virtual Texas, an exhibit at the Community Virtual Library on Info Island, is sponsored by the Texas Library Association SL Community Group.
Come explore virtual resources about Texas and a replica of the Alamo, the Texas Capitol, and other Texas landmarks.
The tour will begin at the exhibit (SLurl below) and end with a dance on Antiquity, Texas.

A second tour is planned for Sunday, Mar. 6, 2011
Time: 2-4pm SLT

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review: Library e-books easier, but still hassle  |

Review: Library e-books easier, but still hassle |

I can relate - I received an e-reader for Christmas and still don't have a library book on it that I can access. I have emailed Pandigital and Overdrive for help - with no luck!!

Free Ebook sites

See the list of websites where you may download eBooks for free. Many of these sites can also be used for Nooks, Kobo and Sony Readers, as well as simply reading on your PC. There are several different types of formats available, such as: ePub, PDF, HTML, Mobipocket, and Txt. You will need to check to see if your device can read the particular format.

This article lists several of the free sites.

Top Ten Reviews reviews seven free sites. has a blog post listing the twenty best websites for free e-books. The blog also added another 16 extra listings. The post was updated about a year ago and a second set of websites can be found here.

Here is a partial list of the sites where you can download free e-books, with an informational quote from each website.

“Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free eBooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device. “
“ is the Internet’s #1 online source for free eBook downloads, eBook resources and eBook authors.”
“ is a free e-books site where you can download free books totally free.”

Claims to have thousands of free eBooks, but only about 100 or so are listed. Can be used on iPad, iPhone, Android, NOOK, and PC.

“There are more than 29,000 eBooks available here and they're all free!”

“Listing over 900,000 free books on the Web”
Look on the left under Special Features/Free E-Book collections. “Free classics and out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books, as well as limited-time free promotional e-books available for Kindle.”
“Discover Great E-books from Indie authors and publishers.”
299 titles in multiple formats.
“The Internet Archive Text Archive contains a wide range of fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books.”
“Read nearly 3 million free eBooks and hundreds of thousands of titles that are ready for purchase; you can read all of your favorite books using just about any device with an Internet connection. You can read Google eBooks on the Web, with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and supported eReaders.. You can't use your Kindle to read any eBooks you buy from Google.”

Shared per listserv - thanks - W. 11th & Bluff, the official blog of the Adult Services Department at Carnegie-Stout Public Library, Dubuque, Iowa.

News: The Invisible Computer Lab - Inside Higher Ed

News: The Invisible Computer Lab - Inside Higher Ed: "The Invisible Computer Lab
January 20, 2011
In the future, campus computer labs will be invisible, personal computers will be shapeshifters, and colleges will have to spend much less to make sure students have access to the software they need for certain courses.
This according to technology officials at several colleges that have recently deployed “virtual computing labs” — Web-based hubs where students can go to use sophisticated programs from their personal computers without having to buy and install expensive software, or slog to a campus lab and pray for a vacant workstation."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What librarians do | Voices for the Library

What librarians do Voices for the Library:
What librarians do
Borrowing books can and does help people transform their lives, but so do/does:

- Computer classes for people who don’t know how to word process, search for jobs online, use the internet safely and securely
- Recreational activities such as family history research
- Book groups – as a leisure activity, or an activity to support mental health and wellbeing, or rehabilitation
- Summer Reading Programs to help children improve their reading skills

See article for entire list. We need to keep building and changing this list as our daily job responsibilities change:
- Help download books to ereaders
- Host conversational English classes
- Provide Universal Access

If we as librarians can't articulate what we do.......who can?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Robots that help with paralysis - amazing!

From Science Life BlogIn Iron Man, Tony Stark engineers himself a robotic suit of armor that serves two purposes, fighting against the terrorists who took him captive while keeping pieces of shrapnel from puncturing his heart. Based on a new study from a University of Chicago neuroscience laboratory, wearable robots like Iron Man’s suit may also serve a dual purpose for a different type of user: quadriplegic patients.

Scientists, in an effort worthy of comic books, have successfully developed brain-machine interfaces that allow people to move computer cursors and prosthetic arms with their thoughts alone. When paralysis occurs due to a spinal cord injury or neurological disease, signals from the brain fail to reach the muscles of the body. But the brain electrical activity normally responsible for movement remains intact, and brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) seek to translate that information into the operation of an external device. One such BMI, called BrainGate, was successfully tested in quadriplegic patients 4 years ago.

The BrainGate™ Co. is a privately-held firm focused on the advancement of the BrainGate™ Neural Interface System. The Company owns the Intellectual property of the BrainGate™ system as well as new technology being developed by the BrainGate company. In addition, the Company also owns the intellectual property of Cyberkinetics which it purchased in April 2009.

The goals of the BrainGate™ Company is to create technology that will allow severely disabled individuals—including those with traumatic spinal cord injury and loss of limbs—to communicate and control common every-day functions literally through thought.

However, while those patients were able to hit various computer targets and even type e-mails with their thoughts, their control of the cursor was somewhat shaky. When a person moves a computer cursor the old-fashioned way - with their hand on a mouse - information moves in two directions. Signals from the brain travel to the hand directing the movement, and sensory feedback goes back to the brain reporting on the movement’s success, both from the eyes tracking the cursor and from the location and movement of the hand in space. This latter sense, called proprioception or kinesthetic feedback, was not present in BrainGate trials; the patients’ had only visual feedback to help adjust their movement.

“In the early days when we were doing this, we didn’t even consider sensory feedback as an important component of the system,” said Nicholas Hatsopoulos, professor and chair of computational neuroscience at the University of Chicago. “We really thought it was just one-way: signals were coming from the brain, and then out to control the limb. It’s only more recently that the community has really realized that there is this loop with feedback coming back.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Digital Library Race, and Playing Catch-Up -

A Digital Library Race, and Playing Catch-Up - "AMERICA stood at the forefront of the public library movement in 1731, when Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia, our first successful lending library.

Looking back on the project decades later, Franklin wrote in his autobiography that the growth of lending libraries had played a role not only in educating but also in democratizing American society.

“These Libraries,” he wrote, “have improv’d the general Conversation of the Americans, made the common Tradesmen & Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed to some degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Privileges.”"

Published: January 8, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Selling a Book by Its Cover -

Selling a Book by Its Cover - "IT took Thatcher Wine a year to amass 2,000 well-preserved white vellum and cream-colored leatherbound books for a “gentleman’s library” in the Northern California estate of a private equity manager. Perfectly matched sets of books bound in antique vellum, a pale leather made from goat or sheep skin, are an elusive quarry, especially if they all have to be in English, said Mr. Wine, a former Internet entrepreneur who now creates custom book collections and decorative “book solutions,” as he puts it, in his Boulder, Colo., warehouse."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Taiwan Libraries to Offer 11,000 Titles for E-readers

Note - this article was in PC Magazine. E-reader uses are exploding worldwide. Libraries really need to be paying attention. Ebooks are not just another format option, our users are beginning to demand that we offer ebooks and we teach them how to access them.

By Ralph Jennings, IDG News Jan 5, 2011 5:20 am

Taiwan's semi-governmental technology research arm plans to offer about 11,000 public library books for download to e-readers in 2012, potentially bringing those titles to the entire Chinese-literate world, it announced Wednesday.

Users of e-readers that can display documents in the Epub format will be able to join Taiwan's 500 participating libraries online to borrow titles.

"It's not related to location, as long as you're a library member with an account," said Chi Chao-yin, deputy director of the Industrial Technology Research Institute's electronics division. "People from mainland China and foreigners would be able to borrow if they apply for memberships."

The 11,000 titles are those that the 500 participating libraries have offered into the pool.

The number of Chinese-language titles available is expected to climb as high as 120,000 if much larger mainland China joins the scheme later, following informal talks now with Taiwan. Smartphones and tablet computers may also be able to download the borrowed books.

The Taiwanese system will use DRM (digital rights management) technology to limit who can read the borrowed books. Some loan periods will be limited to 14 days, and the number of readers per book will also be limited, according to a research institute representative.

A particularly aggressive library in Taichung, Taiwan, already expects as many as 260,000 people to download its titles.

Libraries in English-speaking countries such as the U.S. now offer books for e-readers, Chi said, but Taiwan's libraries are more united in the effort.

Taiwan began linking libraries to e-readers in July, as the devices gained popularity and fell in price. Manufacturers of e-readers are still cutting prices while making them lighter and more portable.

The Taiwanese downloadable library project will be hosted on cloud computing services, the research institute said.

E-reader library access follows a five-year NT$50 billion (US$1.67 billion) plan to bring information technology, including e-readers, into Taiwanese classrooms from 2010.

Bringing libraries to e-readers is part of the Taiwan research institute's longer-term plan to design more modern e-reading tools, including some with near-paper quality screens, by building on its legacy of contract work for foreign designers.

Taiwan's e-reader industry, based largely on contracts today, was worth NT$49.3 billion last year.