Category «Gadgets»

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

How to keep e-books on young cellphone users minds – and encourage their friends to join the fun

David Rothman reviews the positive and negative outcomes of the “Library Everywhere” project in Uganda. He urges organizations, libraries and public interest groups to be sure not to just hand out tablets and hope that low-income families and others will read e-books. Also keep library e-books on the minds of children and adults.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets

E-Books and the Miami-Dade Library Crisis: One Way to Help Thwart the Misers

David Rothman makes a case that the time has come for a coherent national strategy to help speed up digitization of library systems like Miami’s and use the efficiencies of e-books and other digital items to squeeze more out of tax dollars—while also increasing the total amount of money for libraries and content. In other words, be more generous at all levels of government but at the same time expect more value. Avoid ever shutting down neighborhood branches, valuable in many ways beyond loaning bestsellers and other titles, and don’t get rid of all paper books, especially picture books for children.

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

High Contrast – a treat for Chrome-browser users in search of greater Web and Kindle accessibility

David Rothman follows up on his review of the Voice Dream TTS e-book reader which can also read Web pages aloud, by highlighting the High Contrast add-on for Google’s Chrome Web browser. It doesn’t just add contrast to Web pages – it also turns black-on-white text into the reverse. Significantly, it works with the Kindle Cloud app within Chrome.

Subjects: Features, Gadgets, Mobile Tech, Search Engines

A national digital library endowment: How Americas billionaires could be modern Carnegies for real

David H. Rothman discusses how e-books, collections of electrons, not atoms, come with special advantages. They eliminate physical-shelving costs and are especially useful for blind people and others with special needs. Digital technology can also help multiply the selection of books for residents of small towns as well as large cities with underfunded neighborhood library branches. This technology can likewise drive down the costs of providing best-sellers and help with popularizing authoritative information on key issues such as health and finance.

Subjects: E-Books, Gadgets, Internet Resources - Web Links, Legal Technology, Libraries & Librarians

When judges, jurors and the Internet collide

In the past, attorney Nicole L. Black has described misguided attempts by judges to excessively penalize jurors for using social media or the Internet during the pendency of trials. In fact, over the last year, judges have gone so far as to fine or jail jurors who have used social media during trial, and legislators have proposed laws that would criminalize such conduct. This despite the fact that jurors have been violating judges’ orders not to research or discuss pending cases since the dawn of jury trials.

Subjects: Court Resources, Courts & Technology, Features, Gadgets, WiFi