meye0539: March 2010 Archives

Ebooks: Are we there yet?

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In the Horizon Report, electronic books are suggested to take off in academia within 2-3 years.  Over the past year, over a half-dozen Libraries have been involved in college pilots of electronic books with mixed results.  Library staff certainly are excited over ebook readers, illustrated by the hovering crowd around the prize drawing for the Nook at this year's Library Technology Conference. 

Two primary obstacles outlined in the Report are availability and quality of illustrations.  Though Amazon has over 30,000 ebooks in the education catalog, that by far does not include all texts that faculty require.  Students would still be carrying around some texts and an ebook reader/ mobile device in the near term.  Where we can play a big role is in course pack reduction.  Informing faculty of the journals we already are paying for and how to properly put the links online for students to access articles to supplement their learning. 

Questions to consider:

  • How do Libraries balance patrons' wants with the proprietary nature of some of the ebook systems? 
  • What are libraries' role in the debate over ebook licenses?  Users cannot resell their material like you can with a physical book.  Or, the fact that Amazon has retracted books from Kindle owners in the past.  
  • Will ebook readers catch on, or will that technology die off as more mobile devices are ebook friendly?

A sample of the ebook articles over the past year:

  • Barsky, E., et. al., Comparing Safari Tech Books Online and Books24x7 E-book Collections: A Case Study from the University of British Columbia Library. Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship no. 56 (Winter 2009)
  • Behler, A. E-Readers in Action. American Libraries v. 40 no. 10 (October 2009) p. 56-9

  • Clark, D. T. Lending Kindle e-book readers: first results from the Texas A&M University project. Collection Building v. 28 no. 4 (2009) p. 146-9

  • Shelburne, W. A. E-book usage in an academic library: User attitudes and behaviors. Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services v. 33 no. 2/3 (2009) p. 59-72

Google versus China

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How does a society become information literate if they are not presented with all the facts, or have the opportunity to explore a variety of resources?  Dropping the filters that Google previously had on their China domain on March 22 has already sparked controversy in China.  How the government will react is still waiting to be seen.

 In the meantime, hopefully librarians will use the Google debate as an opportunity to discuss information literacy, specifically the first two points:
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently (What are the implications of government censorship on information and IL? )
For more information on this matter, read Google's blog and Wired

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by meye0539 in March 2010.

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