Total Boox, a Library, and a Hospital Break New Ground with the Launch of the World’s First FREE READING ZONE

FREZ logo

Breaking news from ALA: Total Boox announced this morning it has joined forces with a library and a hospital in Texas to launch the world’s first Free Reading ZoneSM (FREZSM). This is a monumental undertaking that hits at the heart of library outreach, digital literacy, and the point where the two meet to support and enable reading in ways not seen before.

As explained in the press release below, FREZSM is an effort to spread reading beyond libraries with the help of libraries and other organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit)  willing to participate, and it turns out, many do. Brazoria County Library System (TX) will make Total Boox’s ebook collection available for free reading at a hospital in its community, making it the world’s first Free Reading Zone. Anyone on the hospital’s campus—patients, caregivers, visitors—will have free and unlimited access to 100,000 ebooks (including fiction, nonfiction, educational content, children’s, YA, etc.).

No Shelf Required is taking special interest in this project as it also hits at the heart of its own mission: to raise awareness among book, library, and information professionals of the potential of ebooks and econtent to transform the world from one where access to the written word is a privilege to one where it is the new norm. The portal will serve as the primary media supporter of this initiative and we will report on its development frequently, not only at this hospital in Texas but in various other places as they are announced.

Congratulations to all involved, especially Brazoria County Library System for setting an example for libraries everywhere and showing what is possible with ebooks and digital content. True leadership begins and ends with putting your best foot forward.

Full press release below. More coverage, including an op-ed on the significance of this initiative, to follow in the coming days. Continue reading Total Boox, a Library, and a Hospital Break New Ground with the Launch of the World’s First FREE READING ZONE

News Roundup [June 24, 2016]

End-of-Week E-News Round-up3

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. What shapes the decision-making process involves one or all of the following:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.


New App, Litsy, Aims To Be the Instagram of Books

[Publishers Weekly]

Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, cofounders of Out of Print, an apparel and gift company that offers T-shirts and totes featuring vintage book covers, have expanded into app development. Launched in April, Litsy is an iOS app that aims to displace Instagram and Twitter as the go-to platform for short-form mobile social media conversations about books.

Are you a ‘reader’ when listening to an audiobook? Yes, of course.  

[No Shelf Required]

There is really no need to recite numerous reports that have come out recently correlating audiobooks with reading success of children and young adults. There is also no need to convince librarians and publishers that listening is learning and that listening is synonymous with literacy. Those who have been on the frontlines know the benefits of audiobooks and listening to the spoken word. Continue reading News Roundup [June 24, 2016]

Knowledge Unlatched ‘comes’ to North America, garners an impressive number of titles from various publishers

Knowledge UnlatchedEventful week for the folks at Knowledge Unlatched. The not-for-profit from England and University of Michigan Library (UML) just announced that they will collaborate to study and overcome remaining obstacles to the spread of Open Access scholarly publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Under the agreement, UML will provide a North American base for KU, which has also established presence in Germany and Australia. KU will have an office within the University of Michigan Library and Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian for Publishing and Director of University of Michigan Press, will join the Board. In the press release today, Frances Pinter, founder of KU, said: “I’m delighted that KU can benefit from the rich and diverse experiences and programmes that are part of University of Michigan Library, source of major initiatives such as HathiTrust and home of Michigan Publishing,” A

lso in the news from KU this week, KU has commenced preparations for its next round of front list and backlist collections, announcing that 53 publishers have submitted 681 titles (from both university presses and commercial publishers). In the press release from three days ago, Pinter said: “The number of international publishers submitting titles has doubled, submitting more than four times the number of titles compared to the last round.”

Way to go, KU.

Both press releases are available below.

 

ProQuest acquires Alexander Street Press, leading provider of streaming video and music resources

ProQuest has just announced the acquisition of Alexander Street Press (ASP), known for high-quality curated resources with streaming media for learning and research. ASP hardly needs an introduction in the library world. The company was founded in 2000 by Stephen Rhind-Tutt (who will remain the company’s President) and has grown to over 100 employees since then, with offices in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, China, and Brazil.

ASP’s electronic resources are made available via several business models (including PDA, subscriptions, and perpetual licenses) and include: Academic Video Online (50,000 video titles), Music Online (over 8 million tracks of music, plus scores and reference works), and well over 100 primary source collections featuring 60,000 video titles.

Full press release below:

alxander streetANN ARBOR, MI, and ALEXANDRIA, VA – June 22, 2016 – Alexander Street, a leading provider of streaming videos and music as well as award-winning primary source collections to libraries around the world, has joined the ProQuest family of companies. The companies’ complementary content assets will enable libraries, faculty and students to improve research and learning outcomes.  

The acquisition brings together Alexander Street’s valuable video, music and unique primary source collections with ProQuest’s extensive aggregation of content, which encompasses nearly a billion searchable items in 20 academic disciplines as well as 270 million pages of historical primary source collections. Together, the companies will deliver an extraordinary and diverse range of content that will seamlessly connect text and video, improving contextual and serendipitous discovery.  Continue reading ProQuest acquires Alexander Street Press, leading provider of streaming video and music resources

NSR Book of the Week: When We Were Invincible by Jonathan Harnisch

In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers) and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week. This week’s pick is particularly poignant:

When We Were Invincible

About Author

Jonathan HirschAs an author with schizophrenia nd Tourette’s Syndrome, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as “mental illness, and his myriad books often revolve around a protagonist who shares his afflictions.  An all-around artist, Harnisch also writes screenplays, is a produced filmmaker, fine artist, and musician.  Originally from New York City, Harnisch is now living in Corrales, New Mexico.

 

About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

ProQuest reimagines RefWorks, reference management service for students, faculty and librarians

RefWorksProQuest has launched its newly improved RefWorks® reference management platform, simplifying and improving research and collaboration workflows.  With full-text management and tools for collaboration, the new RefWorks  platform addresses the needs of students, faculty and librarians with an innovative feature set. Libraries that offer this service to their constituents have access to administrative controls that help their institutions respect intellectual property rights, professional support for themselves and their end-users, and analytics that provide a consistent source of information on patron and content usage. From the rest of the press release: Continue reading ProQuest reimagines RefWorks, reference management service for students, faculty and librarians

NSR Audiobook Review: Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Subtitle: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
Narrator: Scott Brick
Publisher: Books on Tape
Release Date: 2016

Duration: 13.5 hours

Reviewed for NSR by Michael Rogers (Babylon, New York)

More than 200 years after our nation’s founding, Benedict Arnold remains the leading boogie man of U.S. history. But what spurred a patriot who sacrificed his personal wealth and suffered the most dire hardships of war, including the near loss of a leg to a British musket ball, into becoming the Judas of the American Revolution? In short, a huge, easily bruised ego; a taste for life’s finest without the financial means to procure it; and a sexpot wife with a mercenary heart beating within her substantial bosom. Continuing the history begun in his 2013 Bunker Hill, Philbrick (Mayflower, In the Heart of the Sea) further dispels the notion that American colonists were united in shucking the British yoke to form a nation of equals. The class system was in full vigor throughout the colonies, with those at the top quite content to keep all others languishing on the bottom. For most of society’s elite, the war was fine as long as someone else fought it (and suffered, starved, and died), and they sure as hell weren’t going to finance it! Even within the military Arnold wasn’t alone in endeavoring to boost his own career and social standing (and bank account) at the expensive of other officers.

Philbrick contends that Arnold enjoyed taking risks and possessed a battlefield genius for swiftly analyzing both forces’ strengths/weaknesses and emerging victorious, making him a superior field officer to Washington. A fierce warrior, Arnold fought alongside his adoring troops (he had two horses shot out from under him) while fellow generals commanded from the safety of the rear. Continue reading NSR Audiobook Review: Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Are you a ‘reader’ when listening to an audiobook? Yes, of course.

audiobooksThere is really no need to recite numerous reports that have come out recently correlating audiobooks with reading success of children and young adults. There is also no need to convince librarians and publishers that listening is learning and that listening is synonymous with literacy. Those who have been on the frontlines know the benefits of audiobooks and listening to the spoken word.

However, many people outside the library and publishing industry still believe that listening to audiobooks is a form of cheating and not really the same thing as reading.  This is puzzling. All one needs to do to dispel this belief is think back in time and consider how people passed on knowledge to each other for generations. Did they all have the privilege to access urban libraries for books? Or money to buy books on their own? Did they even have a bookstore or library anywhere in the vicinity of where the lived? How did they learn exactly? Continue reading Are you a ‘reader’ when listening to an audiobook? Yes, of course.

News Roundup [June 17, 2016]

End-of-Week E-News Round-up3

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The idea is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening  beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and it serves a purpose that is greater than helping busy professionals stay afloat. What shapes the decision-making process involves one or all of the following:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support literacy (in all incarnations)
  • focus away from top markets dominating most ebook discussions
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promoting special brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation. And please note the following: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources; clicking on each takes you straight to the site where the article was published.

Till next week. Continue reading News Roundup [June 17, 2016]

Is your library participating in (and supporting) Indie Author Day? These organizations and libraries are.

SELF-e_IndieAuthorDay_Logo_v2

A big event is on the horizon this Fall. And NSR is proud (and honored) to be part of it (as a media supporter), especially since it is centered around libraries and reading and, most importantly, the idea that libraries must remain the places that encourage reading above all else. NSR is also the advocate for quality indie publishing, and this event is all about encouraging libraries to support and promote the work of authors from their local communities. The event is called Indie Author Day and here’s what it’s about:

Libraries across North America will host events on October 8th, 2016, designed to bring local writing communities together in their libraries to participate in author panels, book readings and signings, workshops, and presentations. Then, at 2 pm EST everyone is invited to join a digital gathering featuring Q&A with writers, agents, and industry leaders that will bring together the larger indie community. More information about Indie Author Day 2016 is available on its official site. Continue reading Is your library participating in (and supporting) Indie Author Day? These organizations and libraries are.

Portal on all things ebooks and econtent and for all reading, writing, publishing, curating, and distributing books and other content in digital format, including publishers, librarians, content developers, distributors, retailers, and educators. Managed and edited by Mirela Roncevic, with contributions from professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.