“Disability rights advocates and book publishers are pushing for federal regulations to ensure higher education technology is accessible to tens of thousands of students with visual impairments. A federal study in 2011 found college students with a range of disabilities face “unintended and nearly impenetrable barriers” thrown up by some new technology products. Now, the National Federation of the Blind is floating a draft bill designed to ensure students with disabilities are not left behind on college campuses by a wave of new technologies. The proposal has the support of other disability rights groups and the Association of American Publishers.” (via Inside Higher Ed)
“E.J. Auls visits the library to make beats on an iPad using Soundrop.
Although adults might not know what that means, many teenagers do — and they are the target audience for a new media center at the Columbus Metropolitan Library Downtown. On Feb. 4, the library opened the center, which features updated computing gear such as iPads and MacBooks equipped with new software that teens can use to experiment with artistic endeavors such as music, photography and videos.”
“Public libraries rarely own and operate Internet routers that are worth more than the building in which the library sits. Rather incredibly, however, that was the case for at least one library in West Virginia. The state has been pilloried for using federal funds to buy enterprise-grade Cisco 3945 routers at around $20,000 apiece and then installing them at every “anchor institution” in the state, no matter how small. That led to many ridiculous situations, though the most ridiculous of all may have taken place in the town of Marmet. “The state installed a $22,600 router at the Marmet Public Library, which has a single Internet connection,” according to Charleston Gazette. We covered the Marmet case earlier this week but didn’t realize just how crazy the story was. Thankfully, the paper has the punchline: “The router cost more than the trailer that houses the Marmet Library, according to Kanawha County Commission staff.”
via Ars Technica
“A survey of teachers who instruct American middle and secondary school students finds that digital technologies have become central to their teaching and professionalization. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers, and they report striking differences in access to the latest digital technologies between lower and higher income students and school districts.”
“Michael Dula recently began his appointment as chief technology officer for the Yale University Library, which is one of the largest university libraries in North America. In this newly created role, he will develop a technology strategy for the University’s 18 different libraries, which house over 12.5 million volumes.”
“In the age of digitisation, the search part of research has become a virtual experience. Although progress has many advantages, John Sutherland laments the end of the scholar-adventurer and the thrill of discovery amid dusty, uncatalogued manuscripts”
ABC15 – “Valley librarians are working hard to make sure their books don’t collect dust in the digital age. In the era of instant downloads, when even big chain bookstores are closing, are public libraries still relevant? The numbers illustrate an interesting story. Rita Marko with the Phoenix Public Library tells ABC15 that physical visitors to the libraries are down 9 percent since 2010, online users are quite strong at 24 million hits so far this year. That’s on par with numbers from 2010.”
Chicago Tribune – “When Ruth Lednicer recently placed a hold in the Chicago Public Library system for the cookbook “Fix It and Forget It” at the start of the year, she never guessed the book would take nearly a month to arrive.
Of course, Lednicer had a bit more sympathy for those who processed her book request within the Harold Washington Library because she works there as the director of marketing.
For the rest of the Chicago’s 1.9 million library cardholders, the extended waits for materials they placed on hold at the start of the year were more of a mysterious hassle.”
Ottawa Citizen – “The first thing Janice O’Neill did when she became librarian at St. Mark Catholic High School in Manotick was tear up the No Talking sign.
She also ripped up the No Eating sign, stopped charging students for printing stuff off the Internet and said goodbye to the card catalogue.
Now she’s clearing the tidy shelves of encyclopedias and other out-of-date reference books jammed with facts that are a click away thanks to Google.”