Wow, lots of good stuff going on these last couple of weeks.
Have you heard about blio reader, the free ebook reader from Baker & Taylor?Â I got a demo of it last week at the American Library Association conference in Boston.Â It’s pretty cool, offering full color and audio for any open system – MAC, PC, iPhone, netbook, etc.Â Blio was developed by a gamer – very cool and wise decision in my opinion.Â Even children’s books looked and sounded good on this reader.Â Some cool features I saw included:
- full color
- text 2 speech (TTS) – which sounded pretty good
- track audio down to the word, start reading again at the exact word
- embedded multimedia
- page turning
- highlight word and get a definition
- reflowable text
- change font
- some titles were narrated, depends on publisher
- publishers can edit/control the voice for text 2 speech reading – change gender, tone, speed, etc.
blio will be available for the retail market in February with access to over 1 million free ebooks and a large selection of trade/childrens titles for purchase, through the online bookstore.Â B & T plans to expand to the library market in the summer of 2010.Â The website offers a comparison chart of various ereaders.Â Check it out.
The Dartmouth Medal, honoring a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, is awarded each year by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.Â This year, 3 titles were honored, one as the Dartmouth Medal winner and two for Honorable Mention.Â All 3 multivolume titles are available in ebook format through the publisher’s reference platform.
Winners for 2010 include:
- Oxford University Press -Â Encyclopedia of Human Rights- Dartmouth Medal Winner
Honorable Mention –
According to a survey done by the Library Research Service in 2009, the majority of respondents believe that print books will never disappear, only 10% of respondents read books electronically, and in ten years most predict the library will circulate an equal amount of print and electronic materials.Â These fun facts and others can be found on the LRS website. Check back frequently as they plan to add more data as it is analyzed.
Here is another sign that times are changing and silos of library information are breaking down.Â I searched WorldCat today and found links to JSTOR content, clicked through, and downloaded the PDF without a hitch.Â I expect we’ll see more of this, which is great news for the discovery of library content on the web.Â The press release is below.
JSTOR now indexed in WorldCat.org
Scholars and researchers can now identify content in JSTOR through WorldCat.org and connect to the full-text Continue reading WorldCat indexes JSTOR content
Very cool news from OCLC/NetLibrary.Â Their e-books are now compatible with the Nook as well as the new SONY Daily Edition (they were already compatible with the 4 versions of SONY Readers).Â This is a real benefit for libraries who are looking for more e-reader options.Â It opens up so many potentials for patron downloads and the use of e-readers by libraries (for circulation).Â I hope to see other aggregators and publishers following suit and (fingers crossed) adding more textbooks to the mix.Â The press release from OCLC is below.
NetLibrary eBooks compatible with new Barnes & Noble nook, new ony Daily Edition and other popular eBook readers
140,000 eBook titles available for download to portable devices
Continue reading NetLibrary titles compatible with Nook and SONY Daily Edition
Excited to see that OUP is working with iFactory, and their new platform, PubFactory.Â I haven’t seen PubFactory since beta, so I’m anxious to try it out.Â Am hoping to get a grand tour via webinar this month, so look for an informal PubFactory review on NSR soon.Â Â Here’s the press release:
iFactory chosen for superior fusion of design and technology,
continues long-standing relationship with OUP
BOSTON â€“ January 14, 2010 â€” iFactory, an award-winning web design and development firm, today announced that Oxford University Press (OUP) has chosen iFactoryâ€™s new online publishing development platform, PubFactory, to develop Oxford Dictionaries Online, a new global modern English dictionary and language reference service. OUP, a major provider of online reference and scholarly content to libraries, turned to iFactory for this project because of its unique focus on design and custom development capabilities.
Continue reading Oxford University Press chooses PubFactory for Oxford Dictionaries Online
I’ve had several posts in the last 3 months about interactive online reference – a survey, link to a Charleston Presentation, and now a link to the “Off The Shelf” column in Booklist which highlights interactive online reference (and summarizes the survey and the presentation from Charleston).Â The article is available at Booklist Online and is also linked from the NSR articles page, along with the other Off The Shelf columns.Â Happy reading.
Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program.Â According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price.Â B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses.Â Renting textbooks isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s picked up in popularity due to federal grants for bookstores to start rental programs (to combat the high cost of textbooks).Â Cengage and Chegg.com are also options.Â Â Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder?Â If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions?Â Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting.Â It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the high cost of the book.
Here in Ohio we experimented with leasing e-textbooks from CourseSmart.Â It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled.Â Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”