Carry Britannica in Your iPocket – with a new app

Just received a press release from EB and Paragon Software Group announcing the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia 2010 app for the iPhone and iPod touch.  Congratulations!

While not the full Encyclopaedia Britannica,  the app contains  “a version of one of the world’s most trusted encyclopedias with accompanying images and maps, fast article search and look-up functions, minimal memory space, and much more – directly on the iPhone!”

Some of the features available for the app include:

  • 25,024 unique articles covering all aspects of human life;
  • 800 accompanying colorful images and maps;
  • “History” feature shows the last 100 looked-up articles;
  • Auto-complete function;
  • “Wildcard” search feature allows the user to find names, even if their exact spelling is unknown;
  • ‘On This Day’ feature allows you to learn what happened on any calendar day in history;
  • Access links within articles for immediate information… and much more!

The app may be downloaded from iTunes for $24.95.

Take Scholarly Content Mobile

I read a very interesting post in the Scholarly Kitchen blog about going mobile.  Alix Vance wrote, “There is increasing evidence to suggest that mobile device use may outstrip personal computer use in the global community in the next 10 years and that the expansion of mobile content delivery tools may be at the center of a new generation of globalized business and education initiatives.”  She provided examples of mobile initiatives from several scholarly publishers.  You can find it at  The Scholarly Kitchen.

While you’re there, enjoy the great entries for April Fool’s Day!

Top eBook/eReader Trends of 2010

Really interesting lists of eBook and eReader trends on the Kindle Review blog (posted March 5th).  Some of the things I was happy to see on the list include:

  • Multi Purpose Devices vs. Dedicated Readers – Will the dedicated readers be able to survive?
  • Rise of ePUB
  • DRM – is it possible we rid of it? ….unfortunately that is followed up by Is it possible it becomes more onerous and widespread?  Clearly this is a trend that can go either direction.
  • Rise of eTextbooks
  • Arrival of Textbook Readers (Entourage eDGe or Kindle DX 2?)

One thing I saw that concerns me –

Libraries and the Kindle – Libraries are flocking to eReaders and eBooks in general and the Kindle in particular.

I hope libraries are looking at the bigger/broader picture of eBooks as well.  I’d hate to see everyone latching on to the Kindle when there are so many new multi-purpose devices coming on the market that allow much more flexibility in eBook downloads/reading.  (Ibis, Blio, Kobo are examples, but not all will work with libraries….yet.  OverDrive is also branching out into DRM free EPUB and PDF for viewing on multiple devices)

Seton Hill to offer incoming students iPads and Macbooks

Seton Hill, a private Catholic University in PA,  has found an interesting way to recruit new students – a free iPad and MacBook for incoming first year students in Fall 2010.  Called the Griffin Technology Advantage, the program is designed to provide top notch technology to students for 24 hour learning opportunities in order to “think outside of the classroom.”   Students will be given a new laptop after 2 years, one they can keep after graduating.  Interesting that the announcement made no mention of eBooks or textbooks.  Hopefully they are part of the master plan!

ebrary Announces School Library Collection

Last week ebrary announced the addition of a 6,000+ eBook collection for school libraries.  The collection, selected by a librarian, is designed for high school, vocational schools, and college prep schools and the public libraries that support them.  The collection is subscription based, allowing for unlimited simultaneous use – which will be much needed in a classroom environment.  A list of titles is available online.

ebrary’s long time partner, e-Libro also announced a Spanish language eBook collection to support school libraries.  Their title list is also online.

More information is in the press release.

LJ Mover and Shaker Selected for eBook Use Study

Congratulations to Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Digital Services Librarian at Southern Connecticut State University (formerly at Yale), for being honored as an LJ 2010 Mover and Shaker.  Lisa was tagged “Digital Diva” in her award, following her study on “Mobile Access to eBooks at Yale.”  Lisa’s study indicated that of the devices tested (SONY Reader PRS-500, Kindle 2.0, iPod Touch, and iRex iLiad 2nd edition), the iPod Touch could access 84% of the Yale eBook collection.  Her results were presented at the LITA National Forum in Salt Lake City and can be seen here.

Digital Divide Data – eBook Conversion with Social Responsibility

I was introduced to a company at the TOC Conference by the name of Digital Divide Data.  I had no idea what they did, but upon learning more about them, became very impressed with them.  DDD is an international non-profit organization involved in the conversion and digitization of books, journals, and other content.  They can create eBooks in ePUB and formats to fit with the Kindle, iPhone, and other eReading devices.  But the most impressive part of DDD is how they digitize.  They recruit and train young Cambodians and Laotians who are trapped in the circle of poverty.  These individuals are trained in various IT skills for 6 – 8 months.  If they meet the DDD requirements, they are hired to perform IT services for global companies and spend half of their day in school, earning a degree in 3 to 4 years.  DDD often hires graduates for management positions and many move on to other careers and fields where they can earn nearly 6 times the local salary.  For more information on DDD, visit their site – particularly the area for getting involved.

Credo’s Topic Pages – a great place to start your research!

Credo Reference

Mike Sweet, CEO of Credo Reference, gave me a tour of the new Credo Topic Pages yesterday.  What a great tool they are for background/overview information on 10,000 different topics!  The stimulus for creating the Topic Pages was context.  A University of Washington study on how students research in the digital age found that students struggle to find context for the masses of information available to them in the digital age.  Enter Credo’s Topic Pages.  The pages are designed to offer context and vocabulary, subject orientation, and pathways to further exploration of the topic.  The pages include simple definitions, encyclopedia entries, tag clouds showing the vocabulary of the topic, images, and a title list of the most common references from subject encyclopedia articles (all part of the Credo Reference content).   Sharing the topic page content via social tools, links to the library’s chat/IM service, and article citations via EasyBib are included as well, and that’s just the basic topic page.  (side note, have you heard of EasyBib?  16 million students are using it….probably some of yours) Continue reading Credo’s Topic Pages – a great place to start your research!

New Articles of Interest

I’m way behind on posting links to articles I’ve bookmarked in delicious.  There’s been so much activity in the industry these last few weeks that I can’t keep up.  So, here is a long list of things I’ve found from the past month.

Amazon Ups the Anti in eBook Price Wars; Rumors Say Apple is Shaky on iPad Content for Launch

Focusing on WorldCat, OCLC Sells NetLibrary to EBSCO, Thins FirstSearch – 3/17/2010 – Library Journal

Another publisher discovers free e-books lead to greater sales

Results for Read an EBook Week 2010 by Rita Toews

Ebooks as a textbook saver: can it work for some students?

The Case for Textbooks | American Libraries Magazine Continue reading New Articles of Interest

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