While the Libre isn’t the best eReader, these devices are moving more and more into the sweet spot for library use….when these are $50, will your library bother buying the “classics” for circulation, or just buy these en masse and load them up with eBooks?
Facebook is exploring entering the online Question & Answer space in the vein of an AskMetafilter, Mahalo or Answers.com with a new beta product that you can apply to join. AskMefi is a long-standing librarian online favorite…will Facebook be the next quick-reference product?
Apple has decided to allow individuals to publish their own works in the iBookstore via iTunes Connect…although it isn’t necessarily easy. You could already do this through a third party such as Lulu, and doing so might be easier, as they take care of getting your ISBN and such. But if you have a Great Work that needs to be read on the iPad, and want to…
The Barnes & Noble eReader software is now available on the iPad, making it an even better choice as an eReader. You can now access material from all of the major eBookstores except Sony on the iPad…Amazon, iBooks, and now B&N. Interestingly tantalizing…they left the “Lend Me” feature intact. If it wasn’t horribly crippled, that feature alone might be a reason to do most of your reading in the B&N universe of content.
We’ll see how the continuing Bookstore Wars plays out on the iPad…I’ll have a review of the B&N app up soon!
Not a lot of details quite yet out of Google I/O as far as this is concerned, but Google just announced a TV product (GoogleTV) that interacts with your existing TV and gives you web on tv. I’m really unsure how this is going to go over…remember, Microsoft tried for years and years to get people to browse the web on their TV and mostly failed. Apple as well, with AppleTV.
I already use a piece of software that does pretty much all of this, an open source project called Boxee that runs on just about any computer. Boxee is an offshoot of the XBMC project, which does most of this as well, and runs on a ton of different hardware. I’m not sure where the value added is for this, but knowing Google, it could be very, very interesting, especially if they start integrating it heavily with Android.
Lots of libraries are using Wordpress as a blog engine or even as a full-fledged CMS to run their website. There is a brand new version of Wordpress launching soon, Wordpress 3.0, and it brings with it the largest set of changes and updates in the history of the platform. I’ve been using WP since before it was WP…I think I moved Pattern Recognition over to Wordpress in the .6 or .7 release. It’s a phenomenal platform for the web, and the 3.0 release brings with it a slew of new tools and easier implementations, including:
Built in support for multiple blogs on a single install. Wordpress 3 merges the Wordpress and Wordpress MU codebases, making supporting a network of blogs easier than ever.
Built in short-link creator, a la bit.ly or tinyurl.
Much easier look-and-feel customization built into the engine. Custom headers, backgrounds, and more are all accessible via the Dashboard.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will launch Google Editions in late June or early July, an ebook store that would allow users to purchase ebooks that they find through Google Book Search. No word on the details (format of books, DRM, etc) but given that Gizmodo is reporting that the service could launch with as many as 400,000 to 600,000 titles, it would immediately be a huge force in ebook publishing.
I’ll report on more details as they emerge. As with all ebooks, the devil is in the details of the licensing and DRM. We’ll see what Google has been able to negotiate from the publishers.
I’m going to be doing a series of videos showing off different lesser-known features of the iPad that are important for libraries and librarians. Here’s the first, looking at a little-known accessibility feature called White on Black.