Thursday, March 31, 2005

Engadget How-to: Get RSS feeds on your PSP

This how-to serves a few functions: to piggy-back off the excellent work already done by roto to sniff out and untether the browser feature inside the PlayStation Portable’s Wipeout Pure game, to serve as a step-by-step graphical walk-through for PSP owners who are unfamiliar with dabbling in the ways of DNS settings, and to provide another portal DNS server option for PSP users who don’t have need or desire to set up their own DNS. Our portal includes a handy link to the Bloglines web-based RSS reader service, to add in some RSS reading functionality to the PSP.

What you’ll need for this how-to:

  • Sony PlayStation Portable
  • Wipeout Pure PSP game
  • A free Bloglines account. We won’t go over setting up this account — just head over to Bloglines if you don’t have
    an account already; it’s self-explanatory.
[via Engadget]

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

IHEs Are Gadget Crazy Places

IHEs Are Gadget Crazy Places: "IHEs Are Gadget Crazy Places

By steven bell on Information Technology

U.S. colleges have been upgrading their computer systems for years, in large part to stay competitive. But the race to lure students with the most robust broadband networks and the hottest gadgets has hit a fever pitch. With many schools offering wireless Internet access anywhere on campus, colleges as a group have become the most Internet-accessible spots in the USA. Read more at: Story at USA Today

Two Treo 650 Updater programs released

PalmOne released two Treo 650 Updater programs this month:

* Treo 650 Voicemail Updater 1.04 for Cingular Wireless: This updater program was released on March 18th and resolves a known compatibility issue with some 64K SIM cards that cause your Treo 650's pre-programmed voicemail number to become corrupted or erased.

* Treo 650 Updater 1.08 for Sprint PCS branded phones

This updater for Sprint branded phones is a ROM update which features the following enhancements:

* Overall voice quality improvements and enhanced call clarity
* Internal setting modification to allow correct access to Sprint Affiliate roaming partner networks (previously released as Sprint PCS Treo 650 Roaming Patch)
* Optimizes memory handling and frees up more memory with non-volatile file system improvements (my emphasis)
* TTY (also known as TDD or Text Telephone) optimizations and improvements
* Optimizations for data calls
* Includes VersaMail 3.0c which provides greater stability and improvements
* Bluetooth Carkit drivers are now included in ROM (previously released as Carkit Update for Treo 650)

The full post is available at the Depraved Librarian.

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Free books in PDA Format offers 10,471 eBooks formatted for reading on your Palm, PocketPC, Zaurus, Rocketbook, or Symbian cellphone. (Librie format in beta). Browse through the most popular titles, recommendations or recent reviews from visitors, or special collections. All of the eBooks are free!

Most etexts are from the November, 2003 Project Gutenberg DVD, which contains the entire Project Gutenberg archives except for the Human Genome Project and audio eBooks, due to size limitations, and the Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks, due to copyright. As of July 2004 all current PG texts are available here, usuallly within the week of release. The 'About Manybooks' page has a nice set of conversion tools and a link to Distributed Proofreaders project.

[via PalmAddicts]

tags: , , , reading,

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

CT News Update

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology


* Blackbaud

* CCS Presentation Systems - Specials on NEC projectors!

* Gateway

* Syllabus2005: Spotlight on Innovation, Integration &


News for Tuesday, March 29, 2005

* Higher Ed Tech Spending Slows; But Wireless Keeps Apace
* Rising Demand Seen for Tech Centers in Campus Libraries
* Music Curriculum Works Well on Web, Says Berklee College
* Baylor Med Center Patients Using E-Clipboard for Check-in
* People: American Public U., Datamark Name New Exec Teams


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Higher Ed Tech Spending Slows; Wireless Keeps Apace

Overall spending on information technology in higher
education is likely to decline again this year, although
spending is still over $5 billion, according to a study
by the Society for College and University Planning,
an organization devoted to gathering data and planning
in higher education.

The report, by Phyllis Grummon, SCUP's director of
planning and education, found that although overall
spending is declining private institutions report an
expected increase of close to 28 percent. In contrast,
public institutions expect a drop of 13 percent in
technology spending. Private institutions report
averaging $553 in technology spending per student,
while publics average only $203.

Grummon's report concludes that the "productivity
promises of the 1980s have arrived and technology may
not be able to contribute much more to the efficiency
of educational delivery." Also, "public institutions
just can't afford to keep pouring money into hardware,
especially when they have to reduce technology support
personnel on the payroll," she notes.

Unlike other technology spending, wireless access is
on the rise across the country. Seventy-nine percent
of colleges surveyed recently reported having wireless
networks, up from only 45 percent in 2002. "The
convergence of wireless devices continues to speed up,
as the old Dick Tracey vision of instant access
anywhere has finally come of age," according to the

The report is available for without charge at:

CCS Presentation Systems - Specials on NEC projectors!

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Rising Demand Seen for Tech Centers in Campus Libraries

Technology centers in academic libraries, often set
up for faculty or specialized students in art or
engineering, are increasingly being used by the
average student, according to a study from Research
and Markets, a commercial market research clearinghouse.
Its study found that students like the option of
borrowing laptops from their library. The libraries
in turn are reporting, "virtually no problems with
theft or even poor maintenance of equipment."

The study was based on interviews with IT directors
and assistant directors of university libraries,
including The Research Libraries Group, Vanderbilt
University, the University of Texas, Lewis & Clark
College, Salt Lake Community College, the University
of Washington, the California Institute of Technology,
Hutchinson Community College, and Australia's Monash

Among its other findings:

-- The availability of laptops in the library does not
appear to significantly affect use of other library

-- ebook usage is steadily increasing, especially
among smaller libraries. Increased ease of use, a
focus on downloadable titles rather than special
viewing devices, and an increase in the number of
titles available, has led to the upsurge.

-- More thought needs to be given to the integration
of special collections in to mainstream library
catalogs and how to publicize special collection over
the web, or in partnership with other institutions.

For more information visit

Music Curriculum Works Well on Web, Says Berklee College, the online extension school of
Berklee College of Music, added five online guitar
courses and guitar certificate programs to its online
curriculum. The guitar program, which it says is
particularly well suited to the online medium, is one
of the key drivers in the growth of its online
curriculum, says Berklee. The online extension school
has enrolled 3,000 students in more than 75 countries
since it opened two years ago.

Berklee says its online guitar courses are based on
the same curriculum taught on the physical campus but
incorporate a variety of media-rich technologies
developed specifically for guitar instruction in the
online medium. One of the major benefits of the courses
is the ease at which personal interactions take place
between teachers and among the students, fostering a
powerful community, say Berkee educators.

"We spent a great deal of time exploring the technology
and teaching of online performance-based courses,"
said Debbie Cavalier, dean of continuing education at
Berklee. Students have direct access to their instructor
thorough weekly scheduled chats, which also allow for
lesson discussion between classmates. Additionally,
students upload their assignments as MP3 files to
their instructor for personalized review.


Innovation, flexibility, and cost are the watchwords
on today's campuses, with administrators, faculty and
students all demanding intelligent solutions that serve
their respective needs. A new micro site from Campus
Technology sponsored by Gateway, "Computing Innovations
on Campus," takes an in-depth look at the cutting edge
technologies that are being implemented at institutions
across the country. Articles, case studies, and resources
keep you current on how other schools are using technology
to address their administrative and academic computing
challenges. Visit "Computing Innovations on Campus," to
learn how some institutions are transforming their
teaching and learning environments with innovative and
cost-effective technologies.


Baylor Med Center Patients Using E-Clipboard for Check-in

Patients at the Sammons Breast Imaging Center at Baylor
University Medical Center can now use a drivers-license
or credit card reader to register, a process that has
cut the process from 12 to three minutes.

Baylor said about 95 percent of the patients who use
the MediKoisk E-Clipboard are happy with it. Also,
the front desk staff has seen a 50 percent increase
in the time available for assisting patients and
focusing on customer service. The center has reduced
paper and printing costs by more than $18,000. And,
the center has reduced the average waiting time for
a next available appointment by one week by seeing
more patients each day.

"The return on investment with wireless e-clipboards
has been astounding so far; we have just scratched the
surface of potential for patient self-service
opportunities," said Randy Fusco, corporate director
of Internet development services and chief architect
for self-service solutions, Baylor Health Care System.
The MediKiosk e-clipboard was developed by Galvanon Inc.

People: American Public U., Datamark Name New Exec Teams

Higher Education platform developer eCollege named Tom
Dearden as chief executive offer and Bob Haimes as
chief operating officer of Datamark, Inc., the
enrollment division of eCollege. Dearden previously
served as president and COO of Datamark, and replaces
Arthur Benjamin. Haimes most recently has served as
senior vice president of corporate strategy for

Also, American Public University System, a Charleston,
W.Va-based distance learning institution, named
Katherine Zatz chairwoman of its board of trustees.
The school counts 12,000 online students in the areas
of homeland security, intelligence, criminal justice,
emergency management.

Zatz earned her doctorate in higher and adult education
from Columbia University's Teachers College, and has
more than 20 years of experience in higher education
administration, with a focus on integrating technology.
She was dean of student affairs for Hudson County
Community College, Jersey City, N.J., where she led
efforts to offer online registration and an academic
audit degree system.


Syllabus2005: Spotlight on Innovation, Integration &

Join your colleagues July 24-28 for Syllabus2005 at the
Hollywood Renaissance Hotel and UCLA. You'll benefit from
five days of peer-to-peer learning, leading-edge keynotes
and panels, a day at UCLA with a first-hand view of the latest
education technology, and perspectives on what future industry
trends will bring. All this in a fun and exciting environment
in Southern California. Registration is now open. Complete
details online.


Share this resource with your peers! Please forward this e-mail to
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and you'd like to subscribe, please visit:,67,68

CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY is the only monthly publication focusing exclusively on the
use of technology across all areas of higher education. CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY serves
as a complete resource for administrative and academic IT leaders and provides
in-depth, aggressive coverage of specific technologies, their uses and implementations
on campus. Featured topics include advanced networking, administrative systems, portals,
security, electronic publishing, communication solutions, presentation technologies,
course management systems, technology infrastructure, and strategic IT planning - all
the important issues and trends for campus IT decision-makers.

Click here for your FREE subscription.

Copyright 2005 101communications LLC. Campus Technology Newsletter
may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from
the editor must be obtained to reprint the information contained within this
newsletter. Contact Rich Seeley at

OPAL: from Digital Audio to OEBF Ebook Conference Recap

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is pleased to present a variety of programs this week and in April in honor of National Poetry month. Programs range from poetry to genealogy and a recap of the OEBF Ebook Conference in New York City. To attend, go to the online auditorium at, type your name and click enter. For more information on programs, contact OPAL Coordinator Tom Peters at

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 beginning at Noon Eastern Standard Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 9:00 Mountain, 8:00 Pacific, and 5:00 p.m. GMT:
Introduction to Tumble ebooks and digital audio books
The purpose of this introductory online session is to provide an overview of three distinct but related collections of digital content:
1. Tumble Talking Books: digital audio books, primarily for adults
2. Tumble Readables: large print e-books, primarily for adults
3. Tumble Book Library: story books, games, and puzzles for children
Sponsored by the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 9:00 p.m. GMT:
Online Interview with Jim Scheppke
Jim Scheppke has been State Librarian of Oregon since 1991. He's worked at the Oregon State Library since 1986, and before that at the Texas State Library and the West Texas Library System. Before becoming a librarian he worked as an independent bookseller. He is a past-president of the Oregon Library Association and has written numerous articles for professional library publications. He has an Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Jim wrote an article, "The End of Talking Books?", which will appear in the March/April 2005 issue of Public Libraries magazine.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 8:00 GMT:
Young Adult Literature, Part II
David Faucheux will continue his exploration of the genres within young adult literature. Includes an annotated bibliography based on the NLS publications Talking Book Topics and Braille Book Review from January-February 2002 to the present. If you think YA fiction is boring, simplistic, or too cute--think again! There is something for every taste--even adults may find something of interest--perhaps, to share with a child, grandchild, nephew or neice or young friend or as a shorter read and change of pace.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 10:30 a.m. Central, 9:30 Mountain, 8:30 Pacific, and 3:30 p.m. GMT:
Live Discussion with Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys
The NASA Glenn Research Center and the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System invite you to participate in a live 60 minute webcast discussion with Homer Hickam author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Rocket Boys and inspiration for the hit movie October Sky. Rocket Boys is the true story of the author's life growing up in the mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia. In October 1957, Sputnik raced across the Appalachian sky, leaving in its wake 14-year old Homer’s dream to build rockets. With the help of his friends, a dedicated teacher, his mother, and others in his small, company town, Homer’s rockets would carry him, and his town, farther than he ever expected.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, noon Central, 11:00 a.m. Mountain, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, and 6:00 p.m. GMT: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. (RC 55533, narrated by Robin Miles) Join the Cleveland Public Library, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to discuss this novel set in South Carolina in the 1960's. When 14-year-old Lily rescues Rosaleen, her African American housekeeper, from the hospital after she was beaten while trying to register to vote, the duo seek safety in a beekeeping operation run by three black sisters. Please note: This special two-hour program will be held in the Cleveland Public Library's online meeting room, which can be accessed at the following URL:

Thursday, April 14, 2005 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 8:00 p.m. GMT:
Beyond Limits: A Poetry Reading and Panel Discussion with Lucia Perillo, Stephen Kuusisto and Paul Guest
Three poets will discuss their inspiration, adaptations, and assistive technology as poets with physical limitations or disabilities. Panelists will share the creative and technical process of writing as poets with such limitations as Multiple Sclerosis, blindness and quadriplegia. Lucia Perillo ( is the author of three books of poetry and winner of several awards, including a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. Among other accomplishments, Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Only Bread Only Light (poems) and Planet of the Blind: A Memoir. He is an Assistant Professor at The Oh io State University ( Paul Guest is the author of The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World (poems) and co-editor of the online poetry journal Mot Juste (

Friday, April 15, 2005 beginning at Noon Eastern Daylight Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 Mountain, 9:00 Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:
Recap of the OeBF Conference on E-Books in Education
On Thursday, April 14 in New York City the Open eBook Forum will host a one-day conference on E-Books in Education. The speakers will include Steve Potash from OverDrive, George Kerscher from the DAISY Consortium, Ron Zevy from TumbleBooks, and many others. During this following day online follow-up, Tom Peters will lead a discussion about the major ideas, issues, opportunities, and announcements coming out of this conference.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:00 Central, 1:00 Mountain, Noon Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
African-American Genealogy Basics
Researching African-American ancestors poses a unique set of problems for family historians. Jack Simpson, genealogy curator at the Newberry Library in Chicago, will give an overview of genealogy research techniques with a focus on African-American sources. The talk will cover basic genealogy sources, such as the U. S. census and vital records. It will also examine more advanced sources, such as the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Jack Simpson is the Curator of Local and Family History at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Before coming to the Newberry, he worked at The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan and the Reuther Library at Wayne State University in Detroit. In addition to his work as a reference librarian, Jack teaches several seminars in genealogy at the Newberry Library.

Monday, March 28, 2005

One Book Many Formats: The Magic of Multimedia

The Alliance Library System, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service are pleased to announce this year’s annual Audio Ebook Expo. The theme for the day is “One Book, Many Formats: The Magic of Multimedia.” The Expo will be held at Alliance Library System in East Peoria, Illinois on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:45 P.M. central standard time.

The event website is located at
Keynote speakers include Geoff Freed, Project Manager of WGBH NCAM’s Beyond the Text project; Tom Peters of TAP Information Services; William Harroff from McKendree College; and Charlotte Johnson from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The day will also include demonstrations of the latest digital audiobook technology from OverDrive, OCLC netLibrary/Recorded Books; Tumblebooks; and

Registration for librarians is only $10.00 to cover the costs of lunch. Talking book readers can attend for no charge. To register for this event, you can use the online registration form at the site; register via the CLEO system on the Alliance; or contact Lori Bell at MITBC at or (309)694-9200 ext. 2128.

How to get E-books on you SONY PSP

The Sony PSP debuted last week. The PSP supports only MP3 and Sony’s own ATRAC formats, so the only purchased music you can play is songs from Sony’s Connect music service. Except oOne blogger has figured out a way to load ebooks on his PSP. If you do this, please report back and let me know how this works! [via Slashdot]

tags: ebooks, PSP, Sony PSP

Fiction Author Releases World's First 'Podcast-Only' Novel

Thursday March 24, 11:47 am ET (via Yahoo News)

SAN FRANCISCO, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Fiction author Scott Sigler today released EarthCore as the world's first "podcast-only" novel. Sigler will release an hour of audio each week, creating a format similar to weekly television suspense shows with continuing storylines, such as "24" and "Battlestar Galactica."

The free podcast feed is available at , and will run for 20 episodes. EarthCore is the first "podcast novel" because it is not available in any other format. Listeners can't buy the book and peek at the last page, they have to wait each week for a new episode. (more)

Google News search
Technorati blog search for Earthcore

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Friday, March 25, 2005

I Want My PodTV

Steps Involved:
Voila!! PodTV.

Find your La-Z-Boy recliner in your living space and tune in for some podcasting heaven.

Forget Tivo for your iPod - it's Podding for your TiVo!

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Implications of Podcasting in Library Land

The TAME the Web: Technology and Libraries blog is written by Michael Stephens, a librarian, technology trainer and author living in Northern Indiana. He's returned from Computers in Libraries 2005 and has some thoughts on the Implications of Podcasting in Library Land.

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Neat new blog, skype and jybe

Try out this neat new blog by the Website Team at the
College Center for Library Automation in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Centered Librarian. A recent post to this blog talked about Skype
which is a free voice over IP software for virtual reference.

For those of you interested in virtual reference, take a
look at Jybe.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Word of the Day "Mobcasting"

Mobcasting - Mobile Audio Podcasting using a phone-in blogging service, such as AudioBlogger.

A Podcasting Primer

PODcasting will shift much of our time away from an old medium where we wait for what we might want to hear to a new medium where we choose what we want to hear, when we want to hear it, and how we want to give everybody else the option to listen to it as well. (Doc Searls' IT Garage)


How To



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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Wi-Fi Networking News Archives

Wi-Fi Networking News Archives

MCI's Hotspot Network

By Glenn Fleishman

The attention that MCI has gotten from its expanded hotspot network is bewildering to me: I cover the industry obsessively, and so I know that MCI is just reselling locations available from Boingo and Wayport. Still, there have been piles of articles trying to articulate how MCI’s hotspot plan fits into their rest of their operations. There’s a strategic goal there, of course, but the articles—not the one linked to, however—often confuse the private-label reseller relationship that Boingo

Merck Manual available for mobile web users

The Merck Manual and Other Medical Resources Now Available for Mobile Web Users

The Merck Manual, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, Reuters Medical News, and MEDLINE Journal Abstracts are now available for the mobile web. Registration required, free. You can either download the material to your PDA or access with your wireless web browser.

[via ResourceShelf]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Cell Phones Put to Novel Use (Wired)

TOKYO -- Your eyes probably hurt just thinking about it: Tens of thousands of Japanese cell-phone owners are poring over full-length novels on their tiny screens.

In this technology-enamored nation, the mobile phone has become so widespread as an entertainment and communication device that reading e-mail, news headlines and weather forecasts -- rather advanced mobile features by global standards -- is routine.

Now, Japan's cell-phone users are turning pages.

Television Meets Podcasting

The quality Sci-Fi television show, "Battlestar Galactica", now utilizes podcasting for audio commentary. This is pretty revolutionary stuff.

Notes on viewing:
"When you synch your MP3 device, you'll automatically receive any new commentary that's been posted. Start playing each episode's file when the... [episode title appears] ...on your TV screen. Beeps will indicate when to pause for commercial breaks."

No Need to Create a Resume

As reported by Wired News, aggregation of data is at its height. In order to find out everything about anyone look no further than

Zoom is kind of scary. Every single article ever posted by you or about you. Unfortunately on my search for "Chad Brekke" I find no information as of yet (and no, I am not a pastor at Saint Matthew's Lutheran Church). I guess I have more work to do before exploitation comes in my direction.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Online Program on Digital Audiobooks

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 1:00 Central, Noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
Introduction to Tumble ebooks and digital audio books
The purpose of this introductory online session is to provide an overview of three distinct but related collections of digital content:
1. Tumble Talking Books: digital audio books, primarily for adults
2. Tumble Readables: large print e-books, primarily for adults
3. Tumble Book Library: story books, games, and puzzles for children
Sponsored by the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 9:00 p.m. GMT:
Digital Audio Books
There are many vendors of digital audio books, including, OverDrive, netLibrary/Recorded Books, Tumble, and others. There also are many files formats and playback options. Join Tom Peters in an exploration of trends, issues, and opportunities.

To participate, go to the OPAL online auditorium at
type your name and click enter.

For more information, contact Tom Peters at

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Drexel gives out iPods to education students

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Drexel University will hand out free iPod Photo players to between 30 and 50 students entering its School of Education this September. Educators hope to use these devices to spark innovation and curiosity among students through an instrument most students would want to carry around anyway.

This announcement comes days before Duke University completes an evaluation of its own iPod experience program. Last fall, Apple Computers and Duke gave about 1,650 iPods to the members of the entering freshman class. Although Duke professors and administrators have said they were pleased with the project overall, students have reported that the primary uses of the devices have been recreational rather than educational. Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology officials were unaware whether Drexel administrators had contacted Duke for technical or practical advice.

The Chronicle Online, Duke University, 3/3/05
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Superb e-book hardware guide from Simmons College

David Rothman of Teleread alerted me to Megan Fox's outstanding survey of e-book hardware at the eBooks in Illinois Academic Libraries Conference. Megan is the Web & Electronic Resources Librarian at Simmons College Libraries. Her pathfinder about PDAs, Handhelds and Mobile Technologies in Libraries is here.

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OPAL Offers Podcasting of Library and Training Programs

CONTACT: Tom Peters, 1-816-228-6406,

March 15, 2005


OPAL: Online Programming for All Libraries ( has begun podcasting audio recordings of archived OPAL online events. Now you can listen to OPAL events on a wide variety of portable MP3 players. You also can link to the RSS feed so that you are notified whenever a new podcast becomes available.

To experience an OPAL podcast, please visit An RSS link also has been added to the OPAL homepage.

OPAL is a collaborative effort by libraries of all types to provide cooperative web-based programming and training for library users and library staff members. These live, online events are held in an online auditorium where participants can interact via voice-over-IP, text chatting, and synchronized browsing. Examples of OPAL public online programs include book discussion programs, interviews, library training, memoir writing workshops, and virtual tours of special digital library collections.

Digital audio recordings of OPAL programs are placed in the OPAL Archive ( so that interested patrons who missed the live online event can listen at a convenient time.

In a related development, digital audio recordings of OPAL programs will become available in the popular MP3 format. Until now, audio recordings were available only in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. Offering both formats will extend the reach and usability of OPAL programs.

Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator noted, “OPAL is one of the first library programs in the nation to podcast audio content of public access programming. Individual pioneering librarians have demonstrated the value and usefulness of podcasting. OPAL is pleased to begin mainstreaming into OPAL’s overall mission this innovative method of disseminating information.”

More About OPAL: OPAL utilizes software from Talking Communities ( featuring voice-over-IP, text chatting, and synchronized browsing. OPAL is administered by the Alliance Library System (, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center (, and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service .
Libraries of all types and sizes may join OPAL. For more information, please contact Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator, at or 1-816-228-6406.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Australian E-Book Newsletter (March, 2005)

Bruce Preston, editor of the Australian E-Book Newsletter writes:

A new March 2005 issue of the Australian E-Book Newsletter (AEBN), the first for some time, contains many items of Handheld interest. Here are some extracts from the editorial (

What has been happening lately is that the hidden synergy of all things digital is finally roaring into the mainstream. A device can now double as a file transfer or storage machine as easily as it can take photos, show movies, play music, compute, display books or images or be a means of communication with persons or networks near or far. The digital world is no longer a dawning dream, it's now here with bells on.

Meanwhile, events have their own, often unexpected, momentum. Who could have predicted a few years back that book-sized e-readers would long languish while Palm-sized devices prospered mightily? It will be a brave or foolish person who today makes a confident prediction as to what will be the leading device used for e-reading in as little as three years time.

That does not mean that opportunities should not be seized boldly now. The future does not just happen, it evolves, heavily influenced by the efforts of the convinced and tireless, and especially of those with a broader vision and a keen sense of moment.

Tags:ebook, ebooks

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Cell Phones The Academy: SMS Short Message Service

Charles Livermore, ebrarian at St. John's University New York did a presentation at METRO, a New York City library organization on cell phones and sms short message service. You can view the presentation at
Thanks, Charles!

Tags: cell phones, library, librarians, sms

Friday, March 04, 2005

Offering Programs and Training to Your Patrons Where They Are on the Web

We have had great success offering programs and interactive training online with inexpensive web conferencing software with voice over IP, text chat and web co-browsing by Talking Communities. We have even offered introductions to PDAs, ebooks, and ebook trends to groups of librarians. Talking Communities also has a new software called TC screen ( which you can use to capture voice and screen shots or web pages in a quick and easy manner. We are going to use this software to create short tutorials our readers can view on a website. We are doing a lot of our programming through OPAL. Libraries are invited to join OPAL or even just to see a demo of the software. By working together we can all offer more to our library users. The information below is on March programs. If you are interested in a demo or training session, please contact OPAL Coordinator Tom Peters at

OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) - is pleased to offer the following programs during March. Programs are free and are open to anyone who is interested. Events take place in a virtual auditorium using web-conferencing software from Talking Communities with audio, text chat, and web co-browsing. Libraries who are interested in joining OPAL should contact Tom Peters, OPAL Coordinator at OPAL recently won a Web Junction award for building digital opportunities through community engagement and will be featured at the ALA Clene Training Showcase in June 2005.

To enter the online auditorium, go to
&nopass_field=1, type your name and click enter to go into the room. A
small software applet will download to your computer as you go into the room.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,
7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific, and 1:00 a.m. GMT:
The Meting of the Minds Online Book Discussion Group will be discussing
the 2003 award winning novel The Known World by Edward P. Jones. Manchester
County, Virginia; 1855. At his death Henry Townsend, a thirty-one-year-old
former slave who maintains a relationship with his owner William Robbins, owns more
than thirty slaves himself and fifty acres of land. But now his plantation
begins to fall apart as slaves betray one another.
RC 56918, 3 cassettes.

Thursday, March 10, 2005 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,
noon Central, 11:00 a.m. Mountain, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, and 6:00 p.m. GMT:
Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam, Jr. (RC 47833, narrated by John Polk) Join the
Cleveland Public Library, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to
discuss this book in which a retired NASA engineer remembers his boyhood in West
Virginia and his early experiments in rocket science. His first attempt burned down
his mother's garden fence! Please note: This special two-hour program will
be held in the Cleveland Public Library's online meeting room, which can be
accessed at the following URL:

Friday, March 11, 2005 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time,
10:00 a.m.
Central, 9:00 a.m. Mountain, 8:00 a.m. Pacific, and 4:00 p.m. GMT:
Health Information for Cyber Seniors Join presenters Sallie Klipp and Peg
Burnette as they explain how to find the best health information on the Internet.
This program is part of Project HEALTHY, which provides consumer health
information programs of interest to senior citizens.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,
1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
The Unique American Woman: Stories of Sisters, Wives, Mothers, and
(Women's History Month)
You know about Susan B. Anthony and Rosie the Riveter, but did you know
about the Civil War soldier who revealed her identity only when wounded? Or
the stories of women in covered wagons transversing the Great Plains, as
slaves or the wives of famous men, or during the Great Depression? Presented by
the Library of Congress.

Friday, March 18, 2005 beginning at noon Eastern Standard Time, 11:00
a.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Mountain, 9:00 a.m. Pacific, and 5:00 p.m. GMT:
Introduction to the Lincoln Collection Join Kim Bauer, Curator of the Lincoln
collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, for this fascinating
introduction to the treasures held in this unique collection.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,
3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 9:00 p.m. GMT:
Online Interview with Jim Scheppke
Jim Scheppke has been State Librarian of Oregon since 1991. He's worked
at the Oregon State Library since 1986, and before that at the Texas State
Library and the West Texas Library System. Before becoming a librarian he worked as
an independent bookseller. He is a past-president of the Oregon Library
Association and has written numerous articles for professional library
publications. He has an Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tags: interactive, library, librarians, web

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New Chapter in Online Books (The Washington Times)

Three years after it made its debut, the International Children's Digital Library has become a rare e-book success story. The library, run by professors at the University of Maryland at College Park, aims to make available children's books from across the world in as many languages as possible. The project's clients double as consultants: A number of children and toddlers meet twice a week to discuss the online archive with College Park professors and graduate students. [via Wired Campus ]