Sunday, September 12, 2010

Media Week (Vol 3) No 37: Bookless Library, Color E-Readers, More Swedish Detecting, Lost Television, IPad Test in Schools

A bookless library opens in Texas (USTA):

Electronic research is central to the AET Library. Instead of storing printed volumes, the library offers students a rapidly growing collection of electronic resources including 425,000 e-books and 18,000 e-journal subscriptions. Skilled science and engineering librarians are available during library hours to help students who need research assistance.

UTSA's electronic library is catching on quickly with students, who are finding that the library staff is more available to assist them now that they don't have to circulate and reshelf books. Publications that students want to read also are more accessible because the online format allows many students to simultaneously access the same volume.

The trend to move higher education library collections online began in October 2000, when Kansas State University opened the Fiedler Engineering Library. The branch library's collection is completely electronic with the exception of a series of reference books and a few journals that are unavailable electronically. Earlier this year, Stanford University continued the trend when it removed all but 10,000 printed volumes from its Engineering Library.

New color eBook readers are on their way (NYTimes):

Major e-reader companies like, which sells the Kindle, and Barnes & Noble, seller of the Nook, have not announced that they are offering color versions, or that they are committed to a specific technology for doing so. But some smaller entrants in the market have said they will be using liquid crystal displays, just as the iPad does. The Literati by the Sharper Image, for example, has a a full-color LCD and will go on sale in October, priced at about $159. And Pandigital has said that the Novel, its full-color e-reader with an LCD touch screen, will be at retailers this month at a suggested price of about $200.

But LCD displays have disadvantages, Mr. Semenza said. They consume a lot of power, he said, because they need backlighting and because much optical energy is lost as light passes through the polarizers, filters and crystals needed to create color. They are also hard to read outdoors, he added.

Other types of displays may also find a foothold with consumers — particularly low-power, reflective technologies that take advantage of ambient light and are easy to read when outside.

The EInk Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., uses this reflective technology for its present product — the black-and-white displays in the Kindle, Nook and other e-readers — and will soon introduce a color version of the technology, said Siram Peruvemba, E Ink’s vice president for global sales and marketing. The technology will probably first be used for textbook illustrations and for cartoons.

The Observer really likes those Swedish detective novels. Here's number xx in a series of articles (Guardian):

Mankell has always regarded himself as a gloomy man in any case. Married to Eva Bergman, daughter of the great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, he has spoken of watching films in the brooding company of his late father-in-law "We would have long nights talking to each other and, while he didn't laugh that much, he did once say that we were the 'Swedish brothers of gloom'. That made us both smile," he said. Mankell's most recent novel, The Man From Beijing, has received mixed reviews in Britain. His protagonist, Judge Birgitta Roslin, has been criticised for being a Wallander derivative.

For all those addicts of the taciturn police procedural, played out against a backdrop of lonely marshes, empty beaches and sinister summer cabins, the future is not so grim. A wide range of other writers is waiting to be discovered up there in the cold north.

Try the 36-year-old Camilla Läckberg, Swedish author of The Ice Princess, who has a new book out. Or Karin Fossum, the Norwegian "Queen of Crime" who writes about Inspector Konrad Sejer. Failing that, there are Ake Edwardson, Karin Alvtegen, Håkan Nesser, Asa Larsson or Johan Theorin. And to prove beyond doubt that Scandinavia is now the promised land, the bestselling American crime author James Patterson has figuratively moved in. Patterson has written The Postcard Killers in collaboration with the seasoned Swedish writer Liza Marklund. Together they have created two sleuths, a rogue American policeman, based on Marklund in personality and style, and a Swedish reporter who is closer to Patterson.

Found: Golden age of British Television at the Library of Congress (Observer):

The extraordinary cache of televised plays – described by experts as "an embarrassment of riches" – features performances from a cavalcade of postwar British stars. The list includes John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Gemma Jones, Dorothy Tutin, Robert Stephens, Susannah York, John Le Mesurier, Peggy Ashcroft, Patrick Troughton, David Hemmings, Leonard Rossiter, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith and Jane Asher.

The tapes have been unearthed in the Library of Congress in Washington DC.After months of negotiation, the library and the New York-based public service television station WNET have agreed to allow the British Film Institute in London to showcase the highlights in November, an occasion that is certain to generate intense nostalgia for what many critics maintain was the golden age of television.

A hint of what is to come appears in the joint BFI and National Film Theatre guide for November, which refers to the forthcoming "Missing Believed Wiped" event and mentions the discovery of hundreds of hours of British TV drama. The tapes are understood to have been sent out to WNET for broadcast and later stored in the TV station's collection inside the Library of Congress, where they were recently catalogued with British assistance.

News reporter Kay Burley's book is to be edited again but not without some PR thrown in (Telegraph):

Among the details removed is the description of Simpson as "titian-haired" and "flame-haired," both phrases regularly used to describe a prominent former supporter of Blair. The character of McGovern, meanwhile, is said to be not dissimilar to Gloria De Piero, the glamorous Labour MP and former political correspondent for GMTV.

A publishing source says the legal team were particularly concerned about Burley's depiction of her fictional prime minister's affairs with the women in the book.

Blair's attitude towards extra-marital relationships has come under the spotlight after the publication of his memoirs, in which he implied that for a politician to have an affair is like being able to escape to a "remote desert island of pleasure". Burley, who recently split up with George Pascoe-Watson, a former political journalist, also appears to have written a thinly veiled version of the relationship between Blair and Alastair Campbell in her portrayal of Jenson and his spin-doctor, Ben Watson.

No doubt Blair also assumes the island has its own Catholic church for recompense?

Fresno schools are testing the iPAd with the help of Houghton Mifflin (FresnoBee):

Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the education publishing company that created the program, is working with Apple -- the iPad's manufacturer -- and is subsidizing the pilot program. The students will get iPads in the next few days and will be allowed to take the portable computers home.

John Sipe, vice president of K-12 sales for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, said the iPad app essentially replaces the 800-page algebra book that students would normally use.The program is designed so students can use it for homework, note-taking, quizzes and possibly testing. The app includes tutorial videos that can help students at home and automatically lets teachers know how students are progressing. But Sipe said just how much students will use the new technology will be up to each individual district, and some districts may opt to continue using textbooks to supplement digital lessons.

Students will be allowed to use the iPads for other uses, such as surfing the Web.Company officials believe the algebra app will lead to improved test scores and increased student interest, Sipe said.

Fresno was selected partly based on the recommendation of education officials in Sacramento because of its involvement in the state's Race to the Top application for federal education funds, Sipe said. California did not win the funds, but the state application demonstrated a willingness to use digital textbooks.

From the Twitter:

Announcing Identification of E-Books Research Project: In the interview stage so get in touch if you would like to pa…BISG

Albany's library revival a story to embrace Times Union

Elsevier’s SciVerse Hub--Transforming Scientific Research Info-Today Surprise to be quoted.

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