“Amazon.com today announced KDP EDU, a new segment of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) designed to help educators and authors easily prepare, publish, and promote eTextbooks and other educational content for students to access on a broad range of devices, including Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones and tablets, Mac, and PC. Educators and authors can use the public beta of Amazon’s new Kindle Textbook Creator tool to easily turn PDFs of their textbooks and course materials into Kindle books. Once the book is ready, authors can upload it to KDP in just a few simple steps to reach students worldwide.” (via Amazon)
“Tucked between seats on the bus, left near the cash register at 7-11, peeking out from behind the proselytizing literature on the rickety book rack at a Greyhound station: maybe you’ve seen one already and didn’t realize it. Zines are self-published booklets, typically assembled on a shoestring budget and made to be traded away or sold for only a few bucks.
“Almost anyone can make one,” said zine librarian Kelly McElroy. And that’s kinda the point.” (via Gazette Times)
New grants awarded to OCLC strengthen continuing education and professional development for U.S. information workers
“OCLC has received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to advance and sustain professional development and continuing education for information workers across the United States. The grants will support continued work of the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries, and Museums to produce strategies for effective staff learning programs, and will identify new opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration among archives, library and museum organizations.” (via OCLC)
“The Wellcome Library has donated over 100,000 images on medical history, which have now been uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. The high resolution photographs and scans are used to illustrate a wide range of Wikipedia articles such as disease, art history, cartoons, sexuality and biographies. Wellcome Images provide free public access to their digital collection online, covering topics from medical and social history to current healthcare and biomedical science. Wellcome Images is part of the Wellcome Collection, with an extensive range of manuscripts, archives and films and more than 250,000 paintings, prints and drawings.” (via Wikimedia blog)
“In the world of e-books, you largely have a choice between Amazon’s Kindle and everyone else. Amazon.com Inc. distributes its e-books in a proprietary format that isn’t compatible with other devices and systems. Other companies have embraced a format called EPub. In theory, that means books bought for one non-Kindle device can be read on another. This is important because the device you own today might not be the one you’ll want five years from now. You won’t want to buy all your e-books again.” (via The Associated Press)
“Last week, the British Library launched a £40m ($60m) crowdfunding initiative to preserve its archive of over six million sound recordings. The Save our Sounds project is concentrated on remediating decay and technological obsolescence, which could result in the loss of many of the recordings in less than two decades. Luke McKernan, lead curator of news and moving image, wrote in the January 12 announcement: “Archival consensus internationally is that we have approximately 15 years in which to save our sound collections by digitising them before they become unreadable and are effectively lost.” The recordings date back to the 1880s, including everything from the voices of Florence Nightingale, James Joyce, and World War I soldiers, to the cacophony of retrotech steam engines.” (via Hyperallergic)
“Boulder police officers this week began patrolling the city’s main library branch to help address a recent increase in reports of criminal activity and disruptive behaviors among patrons. The library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., has full-time security officers who enforce library rules and deal with behavioral issues. But this winter, illegal behaviors and disruptive incidents have required police and paramedics to respond to the library, sometimes multiple times per day. There were 53 reported incidents and 13 suspensions in December, a significant increase from past months, said David Farnan, library and arts director.” (via The Denver Post)
“Janette Shipston Chan is pleased that her days as a stalker at the Toronto Reference Library are over. Not so long ago, the Toronto author spent much of her workday trying to track down essential research material she had used the previous day. “I would roam the floor to see if someone had it on the table,” said Shipston Chan. Those book stalking days are over, now that she’s one of the first local writers to get on board with the new Writers’ Room program at the downtown library.” (via Toronto Star)
“For the first time since 2008, seven Dallas library branches are open seven days a week, and more could follow. Public libraries have been fighting for years to stay relevant—a challenge in the face of deep budget cuts. “The library has become, really savvy and really nimble to be able to respond to the needs of the community because they had to,” said Kate Park, of the nonprofit Friends of the Dallas Public Library.” (via WFAA)
Baltimore’s iconic Enoch Pratt Library is getting a 100 million dollar makeover, but where are all of the books going?
“In the great wainscotted conference room on the second floor of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Dr. Carla Hayden, the library’s longtime director, apologizes for her casual dress, declines to be photographed, and launches into a history of her library, which became something of a national icon. The building was completed in 1933 and was designed to look like a department store. This was an innovation on the previous “temple of learning” theme that featured big, sweeping stairways. The Pratt library, by contrast, was all on one level, making it accessible to everyone, and featured wide aisles, broad, open areas, and display windows very much like those found on Howard Street’s best stores.” (via citypaper.com)