October 19, 2016

Connecticut Announces First Phase of Statewide Library Ebook Platform

Connecticut State Library modified logo (square)

The Connecticut State Library (CSL) is working with non-profit cooperative Library Connection and the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT on the first phase of a new ebook service that will ultimately be available to all public libraries in the state.

Sno-Isle, OverDrive Test Demand-Driven Ebook Acquisition

Sno-Isle Libraries Logo

At the request of Sno-Isle Libraries, WA, OverDrive has developed a demand-driven acquisition (DDA) model for popular ebooks, enabling patrons to discover thousands of titles for which the library has not yet purchased a license. When a user checks out one of these titles, Sno-Isle is invoiced, and the ebook is added to the library’s collection in a transaction that appears seamless to the patron.

Making Libraries Visible on the Web | The Digital Shift

OverDrive find a library_square

In Library: An Unquiet History, historian and curatorial fellow for Harvard’s metaLAB Matthew Battles describes Melvil Dewey’s impatience with inefficiency in library work in the 1870s. “To Dewey, local interests and special needs were less important than the efficient movement of books into the hands of readers,” he writes. That crisp statement of purpose should be an inspiration to the current discussions around making library collections and programs visible and available on the web.

Bandwidth Blues: Satisfying an Insatiable Appetite for Connectivity | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

What’s expensive to provide and it seems that there is never enough to go around on a college campus? There’s a reason your students are always complaining about your library’s Wi-Fi.

University of Oklahoma Expands Networked Virtual Reality Lab

OVAL with architecture students

Developed by the University of Oklahoma Libraries’ Innovation @ the Edge staff and launched early this year, the new Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory (OVAL) is already hosting interactive coursework for students enrolled in architecture, interior design, chemistry and biochemistry, art history, English, journalism, and library and information science classes.

High Tech Shelf Help: Singapore’s Library Robot

Singapore library robot checks shelves for misfiled books

Library holdings are only useful if they’re findable. For print collections at least, even recommending the most relevant titles ultimately falls short if they’re not on the right shelf. However, the process of finding out if things have been properly shelved is time-consuming and never ending, as materials are continuously moved even if they don’t circulate outside the building. The task is often handled by support staff, interns, or volunteers, but Singapore’s National Library Board has a new alternative: a library robot, developed by researchers at the infocomm research branch of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

Exhibitor News Roundup | ALA Annual 2016


As always, the American Library Association’s 2016 annual convention included many announcements and product launches from library vendors. Here’s a roundup of some of the news from this year’s show floor.

NYPL Launches SimplyE App, Integrating Access to Multiple Ebook Vendors

NYPL SimplyE logo

The New York Public Library (NYPL) on July 12 announced the launch of SimplyE, a new app for tablets and smartphones that employs a single interface for browsing, borrowing, and reading ebooks from multiple different vendors, as well as public domain ebooks. Enabling patrons to discover and start reading library ebooks with as few as three clicks, this initial version of the app is the fulfillment of a goal set two and a half years ago by the NYPL-led Library Simplified project.

Protecting Patron Privacy


Recently, I was teaching a privacy class for librarians, and the topic turned to the privacy versus convenience trade-off—the occasional annoyances of using privacy-enhancing technologies online. An audience member laid out what she felt I was asking of the group. “You’re telling us to start selling granola when everyone else is running a candy store.”

Security, Virtual Reality, and Smaller Maker Spaces Among Top Tech Trends | ALA Annual 2016

Library Information Technology Association (LITA) logo

The discussion at this year’s Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Orlando, FL spanned topics ranging from online privacy to “superfast application development” on the near horizon. LITA revamped the session format this year to be more interactive: rather than offering individual trend presentations each panelist quickly summarized one trend they’ve been following, and then participated in discussions sparked by questions from moderator Maurice Coleman, technical trainer, Harford County Public Library, MD, and host of the long-running “T is for Training” podcast, with debates emerging on how long libraries should support old devices, and which tech trends may be overhyped within the library field.