Friday, January 16, 2004

eBooks in Public Libraries Conf., NYC, March 16

Because PDAs seem to be a major platform for reading ebooks, and because most or all new PDAs come with at least one ebook reader software program preloaded, the following conference announcement may be of interest to readers of this blog:

On Tuesday, March 16, the Open eBook Forum will hold a conference focused on ebooks and public libraries. It will be held from 8:15 to 5:30 in the McGraw-Hill auditorium at 1221 Avenue of the Americas. The conference website is at eBooks in the Public Library Conference.

The registration fee is $79, which includes breakfast and lunch. Earlier today I heard that less than 100 seats of the 325-seat auditorium remain. If you plan to attend, you may want to register pronto.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am serving as a volunteer on the conference advisory committee, and I will moderate the afternoon session of pricing models.

I have found conferences of this type to be good opportunities for librarians, publishers, ebook vendors, technologists, and library consortia leaders to discuss the issues and opportunities related to ebooks, libraries, and library users.

Online book discussion group

Audio Avenue, sponsored by the Illinois Talking Book Centers and Maine State Library Outreach, are pleased to announce the spring program of online book discussions. The discussions are lead by Tom Peters of TAP Information Services and are for talking book readers and anyone interested in participating. Discussions are held in the Audio Avenue ivocalize room. All that is needed to participate is an internet connection, sound card, and speakers. If readers have a microphone, they can interact via audio; if readers do not have a microphone, they can interact via text chat. If you would like to join us, go to, input your name, no password is needed and click enter. A small applet will download on your computer and then you will enter the room. The scheduled programs are listed below. If you have questions, please contact Tom Peters at or Other scheduled programs for Audio Avenue are at

Thursday, February 19, 2004: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (RC 55714) (Fiction)
Against the glitter and recklessness of the Jazz Age, Jay Gatsby makes a quiet but desperate attempt to recapture the past and the love of Daisy Buchanan. Amid extravagant parties at Gatsby’s palatial estate on Long Island, his neighbor narrates the story of his obsession with the American dream. 1925

Thursday, March 18, 2004: Handling Sin, by Michael Malone (RC 24876) (Fiction)
A madcap road novel of chivalrous heroes and extraordinary events set in the 20th Century South. Recounts the two-week odyssey of Raleigh Whittier Hayes, an upstanding citizen of Thermopylae, North Carolina, and Mingo Sheffield, his humorous sidekick.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004: Theodore Rex, by Edmund Morris (RD 53306) (Biography)
This sequel to The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (RD 14168) concentrates on Roosevelt’s two terms as president following the 1901 assassination of William McKinley. Morris examines Roosevelt’s major achievements, including a Nobel Peace Prize, the Panama Canal treaty, and enduring antitrust and conservation legislation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004: The Last Report on the Miracles of Little No Horse, by Louise Erdrich (RC 53273) (Fiction)
From 1912 to 1996 Agnes De Witt has presented herself to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota as a benevolent priest, Father Damien, all the while concealing her female identity. She recalls her life story while debating what to reveal to an envoy from the Vatican investigating a nun’s alleged miracles.

Thursday, June 17, 2004: The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics, by Bruce J. Schulman (RC 54009) (Non-Fiction)
Historian portrays life in the U.S. in the 1970s, and shows how the decade transformed American popular beliefs and cultural attitudes. Analyzes presidential politics, national policies, and the shift of economic power. Describes the many social changes, including racial integration, the graying of America, and the women’s movement.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004: Assimilating America: A Celebration of the Centennial of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Birth

Saturday, January 10, 2004

PDA Blog; Virtual Keyboard for PDAs puts Projection on Desktop

These interesting items both from Peg Burnette, Reference/Systems at the University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences - Peoria -
Virtual Keyboard For PDAs Puts Projection On Desktop

iBIZ Technology on Thursday announced from CES that it had shipped the
first stand-alone virtual keyboard for PDAs, eliminating the need to
around a folding keyboard to enter long streams of text into handhelds.

A neat blog on PDAS:

Thanks, Peg!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Great website and new tool for medical librarians

This from Barbara Fullerton (thanks Barbara!) Megan Fox continues to add to her wonderful PDAs and Handhelds in Libraries and Academia resources site at Go here for a wonderful and comprehensive look at information on PDAs and what libraries are doing with them.

This from Denise Koufogiannakis: "I am pleased to announce a new PDA resource from the University of Alberta
Libraries for those interested in Evidence Based Practice. The PICOmaker
tool will help you formulate well-built clinical questions and save those
questions for further research follow-up.

This is a free application, developed at the University of Alberta, by
librarian Geoff Harder. To download this application or for more
information, see:

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

David Rothman Guest on E-Bookworm Show

On Thursday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m. central, Tom Peters of TAP Information Services will host the first ebookworm online show of 2004. The featured guest is Library and e-book advocate David Rothman, author of NetWorld, The Silicon Jungle and other books. He runs, devoted to the cause of well-stocked national digital libraries in the States and elsewhere.

Under TeleRead, thousands of copyrighted e-books and other items would go online for free, with provisions for fair compensation to copyright holders. Beneficiaries would range from schoolchildren to vision-impaired and dyslexic people, as well as senior citizens with limited mobility. Paper books would not vanish, but local libraries would be better able to serve special needs and save money on ephemeral items such as quickly forgotten bestsellers. TeleRead, an evolving proposal that dates back to 1991, calls for a distributed system with public librarians and others in different cities participating in acquisitions and management.

An enthusiastic user of Project Gutenberg--his favorite PG author right now is George Gissing--David enjoys e-books on cheapie Dell and Sony PDAs as well as an old Gemstar purchased for $70 on eBay. His wife, who suffers from health issues and cannot visit libraries as often as before, reads off her own Gemstar. In a different incarnation, David was a poverty beat reporter, another reason for his interest in access issues. His TeleRead-related writings have appeared in Computerworld, the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and elsewhere, including an MIT Press/ASIS information science collection (Scholarly Publishing: The Electronic Frontier).

To attend the program, go to
type your name, no password is needed and click enter. A small ivocalize applet will download on your computer and then you will enter the online chat room. All you need to participate is an Internet connection, sound card, and speakers. You can interact via microphone or text chat. A microphone is not necessary. If you have questions, please contact Tom Peters at or Lori Bell at

Monday, January 05, 2004

Big News from the Shifted Librarian/Cataloging PDA Resources

Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian announces ListenIllinois, a project with 12 Illinois libraries in partnership with ListenOhio, a collaborative multi-type library project which enables libraries to offer their patrons digital audiobooks from Libraries from three Illinois library systems are participating: Suburban Library System, Heritage Trail Library System, and DuPage Library System. Congratulations to Jenny on a truly innovative, and trail-blazing effort! Be sure to read today's entry for more details on this exciting project! Go, Jenny, go!

Denise Koufogiannakis from the University of Alberta was generous to share some information their library uses on cataloging PDA resources. She and colleagues have an article which will be published in 2005 by Haworth Press, but you can access the article on the Alberta website. Here is what Denise has to say: "Hello all,
At the University of Alberta we do catalogue PDA resources, particularly titles we loan that are on expansion cards. We discuss this in an article which was completed this past summer, but which won't be published until January 2005 in the Acquisitions Librarian. However, we do have permission from Haworth to post a pre-print of the final copy on our website, which you can find at:
Thanks Denise!


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois—Visually impaired persons in a number of states are being asked to participate in a six-month pilot project involving an online information and virtual reference service designed specifically for the visually impaired.
“Info-Eyes” ( allows a visually impaired customer to get assistance using the Internet, finding information on the Internet and in periodical databases and reader advisory service. Librarians will provide services that include voice over IP, co-browsing, and application sharing. Customers will be asked to evaluate the service and resources to help librarians in developing the service. Hours of service will be posted on the web page. If customers want service outside of those hours, they can schedule an appointment or a reference session.
The project was developed under the leadership of the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service, with Question Point Enhanced software and resources provided by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). Libraries participating in the project, which will run from January to July 2004, include: the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in New York City, the Indiana School for the Blind, the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library of Congress, Maine State Library Outreach, Illinois State Library, Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, Nevada Talking Book Services, Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library, Southern Illinois Talking Book Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Wolfner Library for the Blind in Missouri.
As the project develops, more information will be posted on the website. Tom Peters of TAP Information Services is the project evaluator and will write an evaluation of the project, which will be made available when the project ends. Persons with questions about the service may contact Sharon Ruda ( of the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service, Lori Bell ( of the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center or Diana Brawley Sussman ( of the Southern Illinois Talking Book Center.
The Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service is also overseeing and participating in a one-year, multi-state pilot project offering digital talking books to visually impaired and physically challenged library users.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Cataloguing PDA resources

Winnie recently wrote us to ask:

"PDA resources become more and more popular, especially in the medical field. Our library is going to buy the resources and would like to catalogue these resources and add them in our OPAC. Since this kind of resources is quite new, there seems not many libraries having them catalogued. Also, there are not many information or guidelines in handling these materials. I would like to consult the handheld librarians how they handle the PDA resources. Thank you for the advice in advance."

Does anyone have advice for her on how they may have handled this at their library?