“For a long time, you could divide the library patrons of San Antonio, Texas, into two categories — the haves and the have nots. Inside the city limits, there was a robust library system with 26 locations and a bookmobile. Outside, in the unincorporated suburbs of Bexar County, there was no public library. For many years, there wasn’t even a book store. Blame this on a fluke of funding. The city’s library budget could only be spent on projects inside the city. This was fine, until the population of Bexar County exploded. Between 2000 and 2012, the county’s population jumped from 1.4 million to 1.8 million people; and a third of those new arrivals ended up in the suburbs.” (via The Atlantic Cities)
“Wikipedia has long been pushing for access to its communal knowledge among those who can’t afford the latest technology, going so far as to strike deals with carriers to deliver free mobile web viewing. It’s set to expand that reach to those for whom any advanced cellphone is out of the question. In part through the help of a Knight News Challenge grant and South Africa’s Praekelt Foundation, the non-profit’s Wikipedia Zero effort will offer its content through SMS and USSD messages in the next few months.”
“A new library service is now available for members of the Yale Community. Scan and Deliver enables digital access to millions of items in the Yale University Library’s general print collections by delivering scans to library users’ desktops. The service, which launches on Tuesday September 4th, allows current Yale faculty, students, and staff – as well as alumni with borrowing privileges – to submit requests for book chapters and journal articles from the ORBIS and MORRIS library catalogs. If an item is eligible for Scan and Deliver, a ‘request’ link will appear. Requests are then received by library staff members who will locate, retrieve, and scan the materials within two business days. When the request is ready for download, patrons will receive an email containing a link to access the PDF.”
“Europe, including the UK, would have a growing economy today if we had a real digital single market. Just look at the ebooks market. While ebooks are booming around the world, Europe is shooting itself in the foot. Our fledgling ebooks market is fragmented along national lines and struggles to make up 1% of the total books market, though at least the UK gives us hope by reaching 15%. In the United States, where ebooks are 31% of the market, print isn’t dying. More people are reading more books than ever before. They also make books social by interacting with texts and sharing their favourite parts.
NYT – “At San Jose’s Seven Trees Library, books are coming and going, even though the building is closed. One of four new or soon-to-be-finished branches of the San Jose Public Library system, Seven Trees was completed last fall. It has new shelves and a technology center — but no staff to run it until the financially pressed city can find a way to pay salaries.
AP – “A Louisiana man sued Virginia’s prison system Monday, claiming its policy banning him from buying a spoken word CD by a renowned British author for an inmate but allowing music and religious CDs is unconstitutional.”
National Coalition Will Establish Benchmarks to Support High-Quality Computer and Internet Access at Public Libraries
Urban Libraries Council – “An unprecedented national coalition has formed to design and pilot a series of public access technology benchmarks for public libraries, with $2.8 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The coalition—which represents library and local government leaders—will develop guidelines that define quality technology services at libraries and how to continuously improve them to motivate local re-investment in public technology access at libraries.” (via)