Category «E-Books»

On tablets, summer reading and parental role models for young readers: How schools and libraries can together connect the dots

David Rothman discusses how his Washington, D.C. suburb and in countless other places, U.S. schools are buying tablets for students, and each city could potentially be a test bed for the ideas in this commentary. We’re talking about a partial solution to a national reading divide; well-off kids actually can make gains over the summer. Regardless of family income, however, more reading is likely to help. All the more reason to increase coordination between schools and public libraries to exploit e-book-related technology to the max!

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Librarian Resources

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community

Young people are heavy users of cell phones, but most do not know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. In this cutting-edge essay, David Rothman tells how libraries could use “cell phone book clubs” to reach out both to young cell phone users and their families, including low-income people and members of racial and ethnic minorities. The clubs would not only foster literacy, but also leverage technology and strengthen the connections between families and communities.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets, Internet Resources - Web Links, Internet Trends, Internet Use Policies, Legal Technology, Librarian Resources, Libraries & Librarians, Library Marketing, Social Media

The sad reasons why Amazon’s #1 reading city doesn’t belong on the list

In this article David Rothman highlights the backstory on Amazon’s new list of America’s “Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities,” based on its sales of books, magazines and newspapers. As has been the case previously, the winner is Alexandria, Virginia, his hometown, which should be able to afford a book-rich public library system. This scenic Washington suburb on the Potomac River pays the city manager $245K a year. Yet the Alexandria library’s budget for books and other materials is well below the national average despite the needs of the city’s many African-Americans, Hispanics and and low-income people. Around half of Alexandria’s students qualify for free school lunches. Simply put, we’re talking about two different realities–Amazon’s and the actual Alexandria’s.

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Librarian Resources

$38 Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci tablet as an e-reader: Avoid this adware trap despite its many positives!

David Rothman is spearheading chronicling the progress of expanding low cost access to e-readers as libraries engage in mission critical outreach efforts to reach underserved communities. In this article, Rothman asks: Suppose you could buy an iPad for $38, read OverDrive library books, even hear text to speech from them, and enjoy Kindle books, too. And how about social media, photos, basic video chat, and production of low-res videos? What if you could even use voice recognition to dictate e-mail or other documents for work or school? Programs to loan out low-cost e-readers are on the horizon, but David cautions there are indeed impediments, including operating system security and lack of now ubiquitous high-end audio/video performance.

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Gadgets, Library Software & Technology, Product Reviews, Software

Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities

David Rothman proposes that e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to E, and then children and parents could digitally follow their passions to the max, whether for spaceships, basketball, or knitting. A “quiet” feature could turn off Facebook-style distractions when tablet users wanted to focus on books. Protective rubber cases could guard against drops. Learning, independent of income – access to knowledge regardless of often round-the clock-work schedules for increasing numbers of parents and young people who are struggling to get by – this is a cause around which many communities of best practice can rally.

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

Voice Dream text-to-speech app can now play audiobooks, too, and soon you may be able to hear audios of PDFs while seeing the original layouts

David Rothman gives kudos to the latest version of the Voice Dream text-to-speech app that can now play audiobooks. David also let’s us know that soon you may be able to hear audios of PDFs while seeing the original layouts. The new version of Voice Dream, a superb iOS text-to-speech app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, can now play audiobooks, too.

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Gadgets, Legal Technology

How the Hernandez family will benefit from two well-stocked national digital library systems and a digital library endowment

This is Part Two of LibraryCity’s series, by David Rothman, mapping out a digital future for U.S. libraries to better our lives. Part One is on the need for librarians to open their minds to innovations like the BiblioTech digital library. Part Three is on strategies to make well-stocked national digital libraries a reality and help the Hernandezes, not just the American elite.

Subjects: Digital Archives, E-Books, Features, Gadgets, Librarian Resources, Mobile Technology, Social Media, Technology Trends, Virtual Library

How to get the most out of library e-books via the right gadget, text to speech, and otherwise

Want to hear text to speech from free library books on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android machine and the usual app can’t do “read-aloud” unless audiobooks count? A new, expert and insightful report by David Rothman focuses on the new Kindle Fire HDXes. He recommends them to be among the top choices if you care more about reading than about tech and can accept Amazon’s proprietary requirements. His article is written for both library staffers and patrons who are passionate about e-books.

Subjects: E-Books, Features, Gadgets, Libraries & Librarians, Library Software & Technology

Family literacy and K-12 success: How a well-stocked public e-library system for the U.S. could help our students catch up with The Smartest Kids in the World

David Rothman advocates the position that family literacy and the related recreational reading count endlessly, whether books are paper and ink or swarms of electrons. And not just learning-to-read family literacy. Parents’ efforts should go on right up to the day students leave for college, and this is where public libraries, serving all ages, have a special role to play—being able to accommodate both adults and young people, even though we also need school libraries.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texaswith hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them

David Rothman reports on the world’s first all-digital public library system – a groundbreaking new book-less library in Texas. The library offers 600 e-readers, 200 preloaded tablets for children, 48 desktop computers, and 20 iPads and laptops; patrons can check out e-readers (and maybe other equipment?). The library also comes with eager young humans to help get people up to speed on the technology.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets
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