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The First of Many Postings Regarding E-Books & Public Libraries

E-book are going to a be a subject frequently discussed in the pages of this blog because they are an increasingly popular format and because unlike printed books that public libraries can buy from many vendors while also being able to buy all works put out by all publishers; e-books are a format that publishers are blocking public libraries from owning.

To be more precise, our library purchases e-books via OverDrive the vendor that serves most public libraries in the United States; and we can only purchase e-books from OverDrive that OverDrive has a license to sell us or in some cases a license to license to us and that is the crux of that matter licensing versus owning. When the library buys printed books we own them and can loan them to patrons through out the Southern Tier Library System and keep them in our collections indefinitely but when we buy e-books from OverDrive they can only be downloaded to certain ereading devices and in a certain way required by the publishers and some publishers won’t sell us e-books they will only license e-books to us for a certain period of time and then they expect public libraries to purchase those e-book titles again.  And the great majority of large publishers won’t sell e-books to public libraries at all which is why if you’re looking for a hot and popular new title put out by Simon and Schuster or MacMillan you won’t find it in the library’s Digital Catalog because those publishers, among others, won’t sell e-books to public libraries.

If it sounds confusing that is probably because it is!

Here is link to a Guardian article, titled Ebooks The Great Disruption, that discusses many of the issues regarding this new format of e-books:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/27/ebooks-giant-disruption-publishing?newsfeed=true

And here is a link to the OverDrive website which offers news about the Harry Potter series becoming available for school and public libraries to “purchase” for their patrons. And you’ll notice I have the world purchase in quotation marks…And that is because libraries will not be allowed to actually buy the e-books but instead will be able to license them and will have to renew that license periodically to keep the Harry Potter books in their digital catalogs:

http://www.overdrive.com/News/getarticle.aspx?newsArticleID=20120227

And if you have any questions about the availability of e-books in public libraries ask the staff at SSCL or simply post a comment!

Linda R.

Onlive Desktop App Brings Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint to iPad!

If you have an iPad and would like to create files in Microsoft Word, Access & PowerPoint and/or surf the web with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer than this is the app for you!

There is a free version of the app and  a paid version of the app that has more bells and whistles; but either version of the app will let you create files in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

And the paid version, called Onlive Desktop Plus costs $4.99 a month, and comes with access to a very fast Internet Explorer browser which will allow you to actually watch flash videos and open PDFs on your iPad, through the app, which is not something you can do via the Safari Browser.

Here is a link to a New York Times tech article by David Pogue that praises the app:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/technology/personaltech/onlive-desktop-plus-puts-windows-7-on-the-ipad-in-blazing-speed-state-of-the-art.html?_r=1&ref=technology

And here is a link to the Onlive Desktop website which offers even more information about the app:

http://desktop.onlive.com/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

Futuristic Terminator Style Eye Glasses Coming Soon!

Remember those glasses that the time traveling characters wore in the science fiction film The Terminator?

And for those of you who perhaps missed that movie, the eye glasses worn by time traveling characters in that futuristic film displayed information regarding anything those characters were looking at and this included information about people, animals, machines and geographic locations.

And insert drum roll here…. Display glasses, also know as Augmented Reality Glasses, are going on the market! Google will begin offering display glasses that according to the New York Times Bit blog: “will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby.” These high tech glasses should be available for purchase by the end of the year and cost somewhere in the ball park range of $250 – $600:

And here’s the link to the full Bits article that discusses this cool new glasses:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/google-to-sell-terminator-style-glasses-by-years-end/?hp

Linda R.

Fun Tablet & E-Reader Accessories

If you buy or have recently purchased an e-reader or tablet you’ll probably want to purchase a cover or sleeve to protect your tablet or e-reader.

But did you know there are many, many e-reader and tablet accessories available?

You can buy a stand for you iPad or Nook, a light for your e-reader, ear buds for a number of tablets or e-readers or even a stylus for your tablet if you like writing better than typing!

Here’s a link to a short New York Times article on the fun subject of e-reader & tablet accessories:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/technology/personaltech/accessories-make-e-readers-easier-to-use.html?ref=technology

Linda R.

Increasing the Size of Online Text So You Can Read It!

Have you ever been reading online and thought “Wow, that text is small?”

I’m on my second pair of bifocals and I certainly find that a frequent thought that occurs to me!

And fortunately, there is a simple Windows trick called a keyboard shortcut that will allow you to quickly and easily increase the size of the text you are reading online.

And to do this you open a webpage with text upon it, like the blog page you’re looking at now, you press and hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and at the same time push the scroll wheel on your mouse away from you and the text should become much larger!

And if you then find that the text is too big for your liking you can always do the same thing in reverse to decrease the size of the text you’re looking at online; simply press down and hold the Ctrl button again and then pull the scroll wheel on your mouse towards you and that should decrease the size of the text your looking at.

Two Ctrl Key Notes:

1) You may notice in looking at your keyboard that there are actually two Ctrl keys and you may wonder which one you should use to try this tip. And the answer to that is either key – as they will both do the same thing.

2) The Ctrl key is also known as the Control key, Ctrl is actually an abbreviation of the world Control.

Linda R.

SSCL Tech Talk Blog Posting #1!

Hello everyone, technology is a very hot topic in library land today!

And since staff at the Southeast Steuben County Library love technology and welcome technology usage questions and, correspondingly, answer many technology usage questions each week; we thought we’d start a technology blog that will allow staff members to post clarifying information about the sometimes confusing word of computers and technology, to answer tech related questions posted by patrons and to offer notable tech news.

And to kick off our Tech Talk blog I thought I’d let everyone know that we offer many technology classes that include ones on how to use a computer or Mac, how to use an eBook reader, how to use an iPad, how to use Microsoft Excel, how to use social media and tips on using digital music software like Apple’s iTunes.

Some of the specific questions we have recently answered include:

How do I add apps to my iPad?

How do I create an email address?

How do I create a resume in Word?

How do I download free library eBooks to my Kindle (or nook, or iPad etc)?

How do I put new eBooks on my Nook?

& how do I save my document to a flash drive?

So if you have any tech questions feel free to post them on this blog and we will reply!

Thanks for reading our tech blog!

—Linda R. SSCL