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Slow News Month

Submitted by Jason Griffey on August 30, 2011 - 7:27am

August is traditionally a slow month for technology news. It’s too early to begin the announcements for the 4th quarter holiday season, but too late for the back-to-school announcements. Generally speaking, there’s just not a lot to talk about in technology in August.

Well, this year shot that theory out of the sky. This has been one of the strangest months for technology news in recent memory, and in case you don’t keep up with it like I do, here’s the three things you should know that happened in the last 3 weeks. Read More »

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What Smartphone Internet Usage Means for Libraries

Submitted by Michelle Boule on August 16, 2011 - 8:26am

eBooks have been the hot topic in libraryland for a few months now and with good reason. It seems like every other day there is some new revelation that makes us either jump for joy or groan in agony. While these conversations and revelations have been happening, there has been another revolution underfoot.

The Pew, Internet, and American Life Project released a report last month on the usage of smartphones. We have known that smartphone ownership was increasing dramatically, and that use was up among minorities, and this report confirms the trends.
Read More »


Continuing the Conversation: Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into the Library, with Sue Polanka, Session 2

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on August 11, 2011 - 2:34pm

We just wrapped up the second session of the ALA TechSource Workshop Integrating E-Books and E-Readers Into Your Library with Sue Polanka. 

A few security-related questions came in that we did not have time to answer. Here’s Sue’s quick takes. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the discussion in the comments area!

Has anyone ever had issues with patrons wiping out the content on a device, how do you replace?

Sue: Not yet, but you should be able to very quickly send the content back to the device wirelessly or by drag/drop of files.

In a public library, how do you make sure you get e-readers back?

Sue: Fines.  We charge $25.00 - check the Wright State University LibGuide on ebooks for more information. Read More »


Where do you draw the line?

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on August 10, 2011 - 11:24am

One of my journalistic pet peeves is “my three friends are doing this” masquerading as a trend story. However, it does make a decent jumping-off point for a blog post. I was chatting recently with a library director, who expressed some concern about promoting library ebooks. His feeling was that the infamous 21 steps to download a library ebook was too onerous and would only send the message that libraries were not capable of keeping up with technology. I had just returned from OverDrive’s Digipalooza user-group conference, where librarians gave impassioned talks about their ebook promotions and programs. Digipalooza librarians (an enthusasitic group, to be sure) cited ebook circulation statistics that were climbing ever higher and happy patrons (in their pajamas!) embracing the 21st century library. Read More »


Continuing the Conversation: Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into the Library, with Sue Polanka

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on August 4, 2011 - 3:23pm

We just wrapped up the first session of the ALA TechSource Workshop Integrating E-Books and E-Readers Into Your Library with Sue Polanka. We’ll post a few questions and referenced resources here.  Do you have follow-up questions from session 1? Do you have questions you’d like to see addressed in session 2? General questions or the need for clarification? Go ahead and ask them in the comments area!

  Read More »


Special Offer! ALA TechSource Online for Only $99!

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on August 2, 2011 - 2:09pm

As a reader of this blog, you’re familiar with the range of invaluable advice on technology and the library that our bloggers share. Now we’re making it easier for you to get access to more of our in-depth, original content. For a limited time you can get a digital subscription to ALA TechSource Online for only $99.  We’ve never offered such a low price for 8 new electronic issues of Library Technology Reports (available both as downloadable PDFs or in HTML) and 12 Smart Libraries Newsletter issues, featuring Marshall Breeding’s famous analysis and insider coverage of developments in the library technology marketplace. 
If you subscribe now, here’s what you’ll get to read in the coming year: Read More »


Continuing the Conversation: Delivering Innovative Mobile Services through Your Library Part 2

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 28, 2011 - 2:04pm

We just wrapped up the secondsession of the ALA TechSource Workshop Delivering Innovative Mobile Services through Your Library  with Meredith Farkas. There was some fantastic discussion during this event. We wanted to share Meredith’s slides and resources with you.

Videos Shown During the first Sesion of this Event Read More »


Apple Thinks Different Part 2

Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 27, 2011 - 9:45am

Hello dear readers! I’m trying a bit of an experiment this month, brought about by the reflections in my recent post over on my blog about writing and ownership. I started writing a post about Apple and the way they seem to be trying to change the basic metaphors of computing that we’ve become accustomed to over the last 30 years. That start turned into something over 1500 words, which is a bit more than I thought would fit comfortably into a single blog post. So I decided to split the post between my blog and Techsource. You can head over to my personal blog, Pattern Recognition, to read the first half, which is more technical and theoretical, and then below is the second half, which is more directly about libraries.

I’m aware of the somewhat arbitrary nature of the split, but thought this was worth experimenting with as a model: very technical or theoretical discussion on my blog, more direct library-talk here on Techsource. I hope you excuse this bit of meta-commentary here, and enjoy the article. Thanks.


What do the changes in Apple’s new OS (OSX Lion), iCloud, and iOS5 mean for libraries, and why did I say earlier that I think this might “introduce a ton of problems for IT administrators”? Because like its iOS devices, Apple means for iCloud and Lion to be tied to an individual, and assumes that a computer is used by a single person. In looking at the way they’ve set up Lion, iCloud, and iOS5, I’m not at all clear how shared systems (aka, public use computers) might be able to benefit from the advances that Apple is putting in front of users. Read More »

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A Fantastic Reading List on e-books and e-readers in libraries from Sue Polanka

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 26, 2011 - 7:30am

On August 4 and August 11, Sue Polanka will present the two-part Workshop, Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library. Our workshop presenters recommend advance readings to encourage learning and focused discussion. Whether you're planning to attend this event or not, check out the reading list Sue has put together--it's a fantastic overview of what librarians need to know about e-books and e-readers right now. You can register for this workshop, at either an individual or group rate at the ALA Store. Read More »


Continuing the Conversation: Delivering Innovative Mobile Services through Your Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 21, 2011 - 2:23pm

We just wrapped up the first session of the ALA TechSource Workshop Delivering Innovative Mobile Services through Your Library  with Meredith Farkas. The presentation included some fantastic discussion, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for participants and the general public to continue that here. Do you have follow-up questions from session 1? Do you have questions you’d like to see addressed in session 2? General questions or the need for clarification? Go ahead and ask them in the comments area!

Here are a few questions  that came up in today’s event: Read More »