Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Macmillan’s DynamicBooks Lets Professors Rewrite E-Textbooks

Readers can modify content on the Web, so why not in books?

In a kind of Wikipedia of textbooks, Macmillan, one of the five largest publishers of trade books and textbooks, is introducing software called DynamicBooks, which will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of textbooks and customize them for their individual classes.

Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations.

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

In This Book is Overdue!, acclaimed author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, and, as she did in her popular first book, The Dead Beat, discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. In defiance of doomsayers, Johnson finds librarians more vital and necessary than ever, as they fuse the tools of the digital age with love for the written word and the enduring values of truth, service to all, and free speech. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals who organize our messy world and offer old-fashioned human help through the maze.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Collingwood steps up

Today's student has the world at their fingertips . . . literally.

With their hands on the computer keyboard they have access to more information than ever before, and in the future will find themselves in a globally competitive workplace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bunheads are Dead

Conjure up a picture of today’s librarian, and you are likely to be wrong. Professional librarians are information analysts, freedom of information and protection of privacy officers, family literacy specialists, Internet trainers, teen specialists, genealogists, web designers and technologists, database managers, historical researchers, information brokers … indeed, few have the title of “librarian” but all have the master’s degree in Library and Information Science (LIS).

These days, your school librarian more likely than not is a teacher or part-time aide assigned to library duty. And the customer service desks at your public library more likely are staffed with paraprofessionals. Today’s MLIS holders are typically managers of agencies, departments, and systems -less visible to the public than the frontline trained technicians and assistants that they oversee, and highly skilled in emerging technologies like Web 2.0 and Second Life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Amazon loses pricing battle to publisher

A pricing battle lost by Amazon.com Inc. to a top book publisher has stoked fears that its hold on the nascent market of electronic books may be more shaky than previously thought. On Sunday, Amazon alerted customers that it had bowed to pressure from publisher Macmillan Publishers Ltd., which insisted on charging US$12.99 to US$14.99 for its books sold at the Kindle e-reader bookstore, rather than Amazon's standard US$9.99.

Google v. China: the view from the Middle Kingdom

Google's announcement that it was considering pulling out of China was a shocker. Never before had any major US corporation considered closing its operations in China altogether, and certainly not for reasons unrelated to revenue. 

Those living in the US have no doubt heard the accusations by Google and the concern of the State Department—but the debate has played out quite differently in the Chinese media and among Chinese citizens. We asked China-based journalist Steven Schwankert to give us the Chinese perspective on censorship, Google, and the US call for more "Internet freedom."