According to an article I recently read in the New York Times, Merryl H. Tisch, the former chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, and her husband, James S. Tisch, the president and chief executive of Lowes Corporation (who sits on the New York Public Library’s board of directors) will give 20 million dollars to the New York Public Library (NYPL) to “expand and strengthen its education programming, from early literacy classes to technology training.”
The article goes on to explain that owing to this gift, a new position for a director of education will be created and Tisch added that she hoped the money would help the library create more job training courses and other programs to help expose students to the library’s rich collection of resources. Christopher Platt, the chief branch library officer, is also quoted saying that, to his knowledge, “this is the first educational gift to public libraries of this scale in the country.”
Giving money—especially large amounts of money that can make a lasting impact—to support any organization and institution on a mission to promote literacy, education, and access to knowledge is admirable on every level, yet this article (and story) has left me with unsettling thoughts that I wish to share here, in hopes they are not misunderstood or taken out of context. And these are pervasive thoughts, similar to those I have often expressed on NSR in my effort to draw attention to unequal access to knowledge and books permeating our society. Continue reading Not all libraries are created equal. What would the world be if they were?
NYPL Public Domain Collections – http://www.nypl.org/research/collections/digital-collections/public-domain
From the site:
Did you know that more than 180,000 of the items in our Digital Collections are in the public domain?
That means everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website.
No permission required. No restrictions on use.
Below you’ll find tools, projects, and explorations designed to inspire your own creationsgo forth and reuse! Continue reading NYPL Digital Collections, download 180,000 images in the public domain
Some good reads out there in the blogosphere these last few weeks. Many of these are focused on the electronic textbook and/or implications of such. Additional articles include analysis on the library and bookstore of the future and a comical video about digital publishing and DRM.
As was reported earlier, Sony and Overdrive have partnered to promote library e-book collections. Sony seems to be embracing the library world as its competitive edge. Why would one want to buy a Kindle and then have to buy content when you can buy a Sony and borrow much content for free?
It’s unlikely that Amazon will be interested in integrating the Kindle with library e-book collections, since the purpose of the Kindle is to act as a mobile storefront.
It’s been interesting to read blog comments related to the announcement. There’s a lot of love out there for libraries, and, it seems, a lot of potential customers who are interested in the remote use of library e-collections.
A large part of the integration of Sony and Overdrive is the “Library Finder” feature linked from the Sony Ebook Store. I’m rather disappointed in the execution of the service. Instead of being able to search for a title and see which libraries have it, which you can do from the Overdrive site, you first have to search for a local library and then search for a title.
I’m hoping for a Sony integration partner on the academic market side. There are academic e-book vendors who support the epub format who would be a natural fit for Sony integration. In the library where I work we’re planning to circulate Sony Readers to support our EBook Library collection.
The Sony press conference was held at New York Public Library. I’m still trying to figure out if the partnership with NYPL goes beyond the use of the Overdrive collection. If any NSR readers have some insight please post a comment.