Author archives

David Rothman is the founder and publisher of the TeleRead e-book site and cofounder of LibraryCity.org. He is also author of The Solomon Scandals novel and six tech-related books on topics ranging from the Internet to laptops. Passionate on digital divide issues, he is now pushing for the creation of a national digital library endowment.

Voice Dream text-to-speech reader to appear for Android in August

David Rothman writes that the Voice Dream Reader comes with wonderful navigational and annotative capabilities as well as a rich assortment of voices. It is integrated with DropBox, Google Drive and EverNotes, and you can even download it directly from Project Gutenberg.

Subjects: E-Books, Technology Trends

The Wealth Gap: A Tale of Two School Libraries

David Rothman provides critical insight into the inequities in the availability of public school library resources between different areas within DC, but which are not at all unique to this city.

Subjects: Libraries & Librarians

Seven ways to grow the e-book business while helping libraries and readers: Ideas based on my two decades of writing about it

E-book sales are not posting impressive sales increases, at least not among big publishers. One major reason is that much of the technology is difficult to use. Even increased library statistics for e-loans are not resulting in corresponding increases in funding and support for libraries around the country. Based on more than two decades of writing about e-books, David Rothman suggests seven library-and-consumer friendly ways to boost e-book growth.

Subjects: E-Books, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology, Mobile Technology

Book review: Bexar BiblioTech: The Evolution of the Countrys First All-digital Public Library

David Rothman describes why the BiblioTech library in Bexar County, Texas is a landmark achievement worthy of implementation and iteration in towns and cities throughout the US. His article describes the success of this variation on a library system detailed in a new book authored by Nelson Wolff, the visionary behind the country’s first all-digital public library system. Wolff is the judge of Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio. The title is roughly equivalent to the head of a county board. Judge Wolff and his wife, Tracy, are donors and fund-raisers for BiblioTech and other civic causes, and his book is a how-to pathfinder to “bridge the literacy and technology gaps.”

Subjects: Book Reviews, Digital Archives, E-Books, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology

No Paperwhite read-aloud for you! FCC again lets Amazon and friends diss people with disabilities

David Rothman continues his reporting on the status of Text to Speech applications that have yet to be added to E-Ink readers due to the FCC’s extension of vendor exemptions from complying with a key benefit for the disabled that is part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets, Government Resources, Internet Trends, Legislative, Utilities (Software)

Tell the FCC to Require Read-Aloud for Future Kindles and Other E Ink Devices

Want read-aloud in Kindles and other readers? Use FCC’s easy online form by January 9, 2015. David H. Rothman calls attention to a pivotal upcoming event for readers everywhere: On January 28, 2015 if the Federal Communications Commission makes the right choice, a regulatory waiver will expire. The waiver has exempted Amazon and other E Ink manufacturers from having to comply with rules based on the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act signed by President Obama in 2010. Last year, at the urging of the National Federation for the Blind, scores of blind people objected to the waiver. And the FCC listened. “We believe that, given the swift pace at which e-reader and tablet technologies are evolving and the expanding role of ACS in electronic devices, granting a waiver beyond this period is outweighed by the public interest and congressional intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities have access to advanced communications technologies.”

Subjects: Uncategorized

U.K. vocabulary study shows long-term benefits of reading for fun: Lower nursing home bills, not just better K-12 scores?

David Rothman cites and discusses two British research studies that conclude “reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom” and “those who had regularly read for pleasure at 10 scored 67 per cent in the age 42 vocabulary test, whereas infrequent childhood readers scored only 51 per cent.” Other recent studies support the positive impact of life long reading, including that reading narrative fiction helps us to develop empathy and and social skills.

Subjects: Uncategorized

The top six library issues – from the Amazon threat to the need for a national digital library endowment

Long time public library advocate David Rothman shares what he identifies as the Six Big Issues for libraries, and a related discussion about each. They are: 1. Whether public libraries will even exist half a century from now; 2. The urgent need for a national digital library endowment to help fund two separate but intertwined systems, one public and one academic; 3. America’s changing demographics. Can public libraries respond when both their hiring practices and book collections lag so badly in this respect?; 4. Copyright threats and opportunities; 5. Threats to patron confidentiality from governments, marketers and others; 6. Censorship and onerous porn-filter requirements.

Subjects: Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Mobile Technology

Adobes laxness with e-book data shows the need for a library-controlled ecosystem for library e-books

David Rothman highlights the recent revelation of an Adobe e-book reader data collection privacy issue, and suggests this security vulnerability offers a key opportunity for libraries to collaborate with other organizations to diminish data breaches, increase reader privacy, and empower libraries as stakeholders in a new relationship with vendors and customers.

Subjects: E-Books, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Library Software & Technology, Privacy

How to read e-books on a $20 cell phone: Tips for the cash-strapped and plain adventurous

The LG Optimus Dynamic Android Phone, aka the LG 38c or the LGL38C, is a smartphone that David Rothman bought new on Amazon for $20, excluding shipping. Rothman calls out the importance of this device in relationship to its potential impact among among racial minorities and young families with children that also experience high poverty rates. He contends that low-end smartphones like the 38c may be a way to bring e-books to many low-income people in America and elsewhere, including the U.K., where so many libraries have closed. Rothman discusses the objective to inform librarians, tech-savvy volunteers and nonprofits to the possibilities, in terms of training and motivation and the creation of community groups, to promote smartphone technology for literacy and self-improvement. For the underserved who already own smartphones, David details the need to install the right e-reading software to expand capabilities of the devices for accessing e-books.

Subjects: E-Books, Libraries & Librarians
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