E-book pioneer and advocate David Rothman’s commentary shines a critical light on the reading habits of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who reads his average 50 books each year, in print format. The potential impact of Microsoft in the e-book market as well as in funding support of e-books for public libraries has been muted. Rothman’s insights include hope to win over much needed support for free public sector digital libraries.
Bens Guide to the U.S. Government: Free, Educational Content from GPO for Children and Adults of all Ages
Kelly Seifert gives us a tour of Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government, a service of the U.S. Government Publishing Office that presents educational content for children and adults of all ages on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history, with a focus on civics. Recently redesigned, the site features all new site content, a device-friendly infrastructure, and a modernized look and feel that has been optimized for an intuitive learning experience.
Within our field, and more widely, there is a way of thinking that equates effective teaching with effective entertaining. This way of thinking can be referred to as a “discourse of edutainment.” It underpins some of the publications and conversations that encourage librarians to make their teaching more entertaining, for example by playing improv games or adding humour. In this article, Sarah Polkinghorne examines the edutainment discourse in three ways. First, she identifies and analyses it. Next, she connect it to larger concerns, such as creating significant learning experiences and wrestling with public speaking fear. To conclude she describe several concepts from the performing arts that could better support librarians working to teach in ways that are as engaging, significant, and enjoyable as possible.
The Next Librarian of Congress – What to do about the Internet Archive and Google Books scanning project?
David Rothman offers his insights and perspective on the work and challenges that await the next Librarian of Congress. He calls for an individual who is not only steeped in the requisite expertise of research, technology, learning, teaching and freedom of information, but in following with a cause he has long championed he states “we need someone with “a love of reading—including the e-book variety.”
Cheryl Niemeier answers the questions many members have following the decision to change the name of the Private Law Libraries-Special Interest Section (PLL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) to the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals-Special Interest Section (PLLIP-SIS).
Many librarians have a set of research guides that they are responsible for keeping up to date, but finding time to devote to this important task can be extremely difficult. As libraries migrate to LibGuides 2.0, many are using this opportunity to study their users’ preferences, implement new policies, and completely refresh their research guide collection. If your library is going through this process, or you are simply planning on using the (relatively) calm summer months to update your research guides, here are ten best practice tips to keep in mind – by Kara Dunn, D`Angelo Law Library.
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.
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.”
In Part 3 of Lorette Weldon’s series she discusses the virtual assistant she created to review with clients the search methods that were covered in face to face customer interactions. Weldon emphasizes that this methodology creates and maintains transparency, enhancing learning and sustaining relationships. Links to Part 1 and Part 2.
In Part 2 of Lorette Weldon’s series, she emphasizes that to promote information literacy you would have to practice what you preach. You must retain customer interaction information so that you may add to it in forthcoming interactions. Thus says Weldon, the patrons experience both familiarity and warmth when they return to the library because the librarian remembers who they are and what they had been looking for in previous visits.