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After reading librarian Meredith Farkas‘ excellent American Libraries November 1, 2011 article Information Literacy 2.0, I posted the following response in the Comments section:

“Journalist, author, professor, and Internet guru Howard Rheingold has long considered the challenge of verifying, evaluating, and managing information. For much of his writing career he has wrestled with many of the issues you’ve raised in your excellent article. For the past few years Rheingold has freely shared much of his work on these issues on Web sites and in articles for a wide range of publications. In addition, he has posted a series of free mini-courses on a variety of issues related to information literacy (see link below). These outstanding mini courses include brief video lectures, concept maps, articles, and links to additional resources.

Over the past year Rheingold has also launched what he calls a “pop-up university,” Rheingold U, where he offers in-depth courses on information, networking, and cooperation theory for a fee. I was lucky enough to be a member of his first class this past winter/spring and now am part of a very active alumni network, which is now an important part of my own personal learning network.

All of us who have followed Howard Rheingold’s work in this area are eagerly awaiting the March 2012 publication of his book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online  (MIT Press), which is available for pre-order (see link below).”

Howard Rheingold’s Free Online Mini-Courses on Infotention, Network Literacy, Why the History of the Public Sphere Matters in the Internet Age, and Introduction to Cooperation Theory
http://www.rheingold.com/university/mini-courses/

The Infotention Network: Life Skills for Digital Citizenship
http://www.infotention.com/

“Net Smart: How to Thrive Online” by Howard Rheingold (Publication date: March 9, 2012)
http://www.amazon.com/Net-Smart-How-Thrive-Online/dp/0262017458/

Information Literacy 2.0 - by Meredith Farkas – American Libraries – 11/1/2012
http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/practice/information-literacy-20

To mark the first day of the nationwide rollout of  the Library eBooks for Kindle collections, I’ve captured a snapshot of the Kindle ebook collections of four public libraries:  The New York Public Library, The Los Angeles Public Library, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the CLAMS Library Network, which serves Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The populations served by these four libraries vary in size, community type (urban, suburban, rural) and in the mix of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.  As is evident in the numbers listed below, the library ebook collections available in each of these community varies greatly, too.  A scientific comparison would require population totals, library cardholder totals, median incomes, library funding numbers, etc., as well as a larger sampling of public libraries.  As I don’t have time to do all of that before this moment in ebook history passes, I’ve provided a few simple, but interesting metrics, including a list of each library’s ten most popular ebooks.

The books that made it into each library’s list of top ten most popular ebooks are as much a function of the limited library ebook titles available to patrons as they are indicative of the reading zeitgeist of each community.  In other words, when reading library books – whether print, ebook, or audiobook , library users can only choose from the titles made available to them.  A library’s list of the top ten most popular library ebooks is bound to be a subset of the ebook collection itself.  Thus, when that ebook collection is limited, any list of most popular library ebooks will be skewed by the fact that the library users are making choices within a very limited catalog of ebooks.  As you can see from the number of titles in each library’s ebook collection, there’s a great variation in the number of titles available from library to library.

As this is early days in the adoption of ebooks, we can expect the demand by library patrons for ebooks to grow.  One of the challenges for public libraries will be to secure the funds needed to purchase ebooks and other electronic resources fast enough to satisfy the needs and demands of library users.

You can help by calling and/or writing your public officials in support of these services.  If it’s within your budget, consider showing your appreciation by making a donation to your public library!  If you’re not using your library’s ebook services, start now!  When you want or need a book that not in your library’s collection, place a request for it.  If the ebook you want to read has a waiting list, add your name to it.  When the waiting list becomes long enough, it serves as a tipping point for purchasing more copies of the book (that is, if the funds are available).  As you wait your digital turn, browse the catalog and choose a book from among those that are available.  I guarantee that you’ll discover some very interesting books by doing just that.

Total Titles in Library eBooks for Kindle Collections in the Following Libraries on Sep 22, 2011

New York Public Library:              14,527
Los Angeles Public Library’:           8,726
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh:      2,878
CLAMS (MA) Library Network:      2,285

New York Public Library
Total NYPL Library eBook Titles for Kindle: 14,527

Top 10 List of Most Popular eBooks at the NYPL on Sep 22, 2011

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Library copies: 108
Waiting list: 524 patrons

2.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Millennium Trilogy, Book 1 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 123
Waiting list: 2 patrons

3.  A Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1 by George R.R. Martin
Library copies: 79
Waiting list: 198

4.  Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
Library copies: 65
Waiting list: 6 patrons

5.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: Millennium Trilogy, Book 3 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 80
Waiting list: 0 and 13 copies are available

6.  One Day by David Nicholls
Library copies: 36
Waiting list: 228 patrons

7.  The Girls Who Played with Fire, Millennium Trilogy, Book 2 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 67
Waiting list: 0 and 11 copies are available

8.  A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Library copies: 35
Waiting list: 210 patrons

9.  In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
Library copies: 35
Waiting list: 86 patrons

10.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Library copies: 40
Waiting list: 77 patrons

******************************

The Los Angeles Public Library
Total Library eBook Titles for Kindle: 8,726

Top 10 List of Most Popular eBooks at the LAPL on Sep 22, 2011

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Library copies: 24
Waiting list: 172 patrons

2.  A Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1 by George R. R. Martin
Library copies: 20
Waiting list: 69 patrons

3.  George R. R. Martin’s a Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle by George R. R. Martin
Library copies: 13
Waiting list: 52 patrons

4.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Millennium Trilogy, Book 1 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 13
Waiting list: 18 patrons

5.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: Millennium Trilogy, Book 3 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 10
Waiting list: 18 patrons

6.  Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
Library copies: 35 patrons
Waiting list: 12

7.  Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
Library copies: 8
Waiting list: 34 patrons

8.  In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
Library copies: 9
Waiting list: 40 patrons

9.  Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Library copies: 9
Waiting list: 21 patrons

10.  Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Library copies: 8
Waiting list: 34 patrons

******************************

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Total Library eBook Titles for Kindle: 2,878

Top 10 List of Most Popular eBooks at the CLP on Sep 22, 2011

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Library copies: 12
Waiting list: 144 patrons

2.  George R.R. Martin’s a Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle by R. R. Martin
Library copies: 10
Waiting list: 49 patrons

3.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Millennium Trilogy, Book 1 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 7
Waiting list: 40 patrons

4.  Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen
Library copies: 9
Waiting list: 17 patrons

5.  The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham
Library copies: 10
Waiting list: 5 patrons

6.  Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Library copies: 7
Waiting list: 25 patrons

7.  Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
Library copies: 5
Waiting list: 47 patrons

8.  Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Library copies: 6
Waiting list: 35 patrons

9.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: Millennium Trilogy, Book 3 by Stieg Larsson
Library copies: 6
Waiting list: 31 patrons

10.  Dead Reckoning: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 11 by Charlaine Harris
Library copies: 5
Waiting list: 25 patrons

******************************

CLAMS Library Network for the Cape and Islands, MA
CLAMS Total Library eBook Titles for Kindle: 2,285

Top 10 List of Most Popular eBooks at the CLP on Sep 22, 2011

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Library copies: 7
Waiting list: 38 patrons

2.  Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Library copies: 7
Waiting list: 15 patrons

3.  Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 8 patrons

4.  Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
Library copies: 5
Waiting list: 13 patrons

5.  Unbroken: A World War II Story of Surval, Resilence and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Library copies: 5
Waiting list: 0

6.  In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 3 patrons

7.  A Game of Thrones: Song of Ice and Fire Series, Book 1 by George R.R. Martin
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 1 patron

8.  George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle by George R. R. Martin
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 1 patron

9.  The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 1 patron

10.  The Lincoln Lawyer: Mickey Haller Series, Book 1 by Michael Connelly
Library copies: 4
Waiting list: 1 patron

O, Happy Day!  New York Public Library users are now able to borrow ebooks from the Library’s ebook catalog at ebooks.nypl.org and read them on their Kindle and/or via Kindle app for various devices (iPad, Touch, smartphones, PCs, Macs, and via the Kindle Cloud Reader)!! Today I’ve borrowed three ebooks from the NYPL and was able to have them delivered to my Kindle (and then to my iPad, iPod Touch, Kindle Cloud Reader, Kindle for Mac, and DROID phone).

Although the publicity on the launch of Amazon’s Public Library Books for Kindle program has centered around the beta test of the new system at the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System, the Public Library Books for Kindle service is also available on the New York Public Library’s eNYPL Web site at http://ebooks.nypl.org

The Seattle Times has provided an excellent explanation of the Public Library Books for Kindle process in two articles by Brier Dudley. (See links below.)

In the Photo Guide article, whose link I’ve listed last, Dudley has posted screenshots as well as a step-by-step guide to the process of checking out a library ebook on a Kindle ereader and/or on a Kindle app.

I’ve just spent the last few hours checking out the NYPL’s Kindle ebook selection and am absolutely delighted that this option is now available to NYPL users. I’m particularly pleased that the ability to borrow ebooks for use on the Kindle has come to the NYPL’s ebook catalog, as I often prefer reading on the Kindle e-ink reader to reading a book on the iPad, Touch, or Android smartphone. (This preference is dependent upon the time of day, whether I’m reading indoors or outdoors, or whether I’m reading at home or on the go.)

In addition, I’m enjoying being able to highlight passages and make notes as I read these borrowed library ebooks – and to having those notes saved as part of my Kindle book notes (also known as “My Clippings” on the Kindle itself, and “Your Highlights” on the Web site kindle.amazon.com). Up until now, I’ve read borrowed library ebooks on my iPad and iPod Touch via the Overdrive app, which currently does not provide the ability to make and save notes and highlights.

I have noted two glitches so far and both may have something to do with the fact that the Kindle software on my Kindle 3rd Generation is Version: Kindle 3.1 (558700031), while there now appears to be more updated versions being used on some of the Kindles in the Seattle Public Library beta test. For more details on this, see Kindle maven Andrys Basten’s blog post “A special Kindle v3.3 Software version was used for public library access tests – Update.” (Link provided below).

One of the glitches involves highlighting while reading the NYPL ebooks on my 3rd Generation Kindle. Although the highlighting that I’ve done while reading on the Kindle ereader shows up in the “My Clippings” file on the Kindle, it is not consistently showing up on my “Your Highlights” page at kindle.amazon.com. Highlights that I’ve made in the same title while reading it on the iPad and on my DROID cell phone do show up as underlined text in that same title on the Kindle, but don’t show up in the “My Clippings” file on the Kindle. They do, however, display on the Kindle under the “View Notes and Marks” option (reached via the Menu button while reading the ebook). Passages that I’ve highlighted while reading an ebook that I purchased from Amazon do show up in the “My Clippings” and on the “My Highlights” section of kindle.amazon.com.

The 2nd glitch I’ve noticed is that one of the three ebooks I’ve borrowed as a Kindle edition from eNYPL refuses to download into my Kindle for Mac library. The other two titles have downloaded perfectly into my Kindle for Mac, so this glitch appears to be specific to this one title and how it chooses to interface (or not) with the Kindle for Mac app. With the exception of this one title refusing to download into the Kindle for Mac, I’ve managed to download all three titles on all of my Kindle apps (iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphone, Kindle for Mac, and Kindle Cloud Reader).

Both of these glitches could have something to do with the version of software on my Kindle and/or with the Public Library Books on Kindle service possibly being on overload. Whatever the problem, the glitches are minor. The important thing at this point is that those of us who have chosen to use Kindle ereaders can now join our epub-ereading friends in reading borrowed library books on the devices and apps of our choosing.

The more important issue, though, is the need for increased library funding to support new digital services like public library ebook lending, access to magazines, journals, and research databases, and the development and preservation of digital collections.  Call and/or write your public officials in support of these services.  If it’s within your budget, consider showing your appreciation by making a donation to your public library!

A very big thanks to the New York Public Library, Overdrive, and Amazon!

Support the Library – The New York Public Library
http://www.nypl.org/support 

A special Kindle v3.3 Software version was used for public library access tests – Update by Andrys Basten – A Kindleworld Blog – September 21, 2011
http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2011/09/special-kindle-v33-software-version-was.html

Kindle Users to Be Able to Borrow Library eBooks by Julie Bosman – NY Times – April 20, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/technology/21amazon.html

Kindle library Lending Begins in Seattle, King County (updated) by Brier Dudley – The Seattle Times
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/2016262065_kindle_library_lending_begins.html

Photo Guide: How to Check Out Kindle Library Books by Brier Dudley (posted Sept 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm) – The Seattle Times
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/technologybrierdudleysblog/2016262065_kindle_library_lending_begins.html

Feeling overwhelmed by information overload?  Done in and deluged by data, both big and small? Do yourself a favor and web on over for a visit to Howard Rheingold’s brand new online learning community, Rheingold U,  where you’ll find three free mini-courses, including one on infotention.  While you’re there, check out the Introduction to Mind Amplification course, which is the first in a series of nine courses now under development.

As one of the lucky 30 students who are currently taking part in a beta version of Howard’s Introduction to Mind Amplification, I strongly recommend this course, which combines synchronous and asynchronous discussions, webcasts, an outstanding reading list, and the opportunity to enjoy a five-week dialog with both Howard and 29 other “esteemed co-learners.”

Introduction to Mind Amplification is a must-take course for librarians, journalists, teachers, scientists, students, digital humanists, and web workers of all types.

The Daily's Eldercare robots article is rendered as a single, giant jpg image rather than as html text.

You’ll learn a few new things about robots and eldercare in this article from The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad-only news app. Unfortunately, though, you won’t be able to save any of it using the usual copy and paste routine for text because The Daily renders its web pages as single, large .jpg images. Try to save a Daily web page as a PDF and you’ll discover that you are able to save only an image of the first part of the article. This image is followed by a page of promotional text urging you to download The Daily iPad app. Saving the web page as an html document will save all of it, as will right-clicking (on PCs) of Control-clicking (on Macs).  In both cases, though, what you will save is one giant .jpg image, rather than searchable text.

As with the iPad app versions of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, The Daily provides an easy mechanism to send the link of the web version of a particular article to an email address. In addition, The Daily, like many other news apps, gives you the option to post a link on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The Daily’s links, however, lead to web page versions that are giant images of the article. In contrast, the New York Times’ and Wall Street Journal’s iPad- generated links lead to html text-rich web articles, which can be saved in a variety of ways as editable and searchable text. All three news apps allow, you, the iPad subscriber, to save a copy of the article to your iPad for later viewing. Note, though, that NONE of these three iPad news apps are yet searchable.  Nor are the articles you save from them to your iPad searchable. Neither are the AP, BBC News, or the Washington Post iPad apps. By contrast, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, Engadget, and Mashable all provide a search feature, however primitive.

Unlike the Wall Street Journal’s iPad edition, which keeps one week’s worth of issues available on the iPad, The Daily has a very short memory. When you, the subscriber to The Daily, tap on its app, the new version immediately overrides any previous version. In so doing, it cuts off your access to the articles from the previous edition (unless you stopped to save copies to your iPad). Unless you saved a copy of a particular article from the previous day to your iPad, posted a link to it on Facebook or Twitter, or emailed a link to yourself, you can kiss access to that article goodbye. This is both annoying and disturbing. Annoying, because it unnecessarily complicates your information-gathering routines. Disturbing, because it limits your access to news and information for which you’ve paid (starting Feb 23, when the free two week trial will end).

Visit The Daily’s web site (http://thedaily.com) and you’ll discover a site devoted to selling The Daily’s iPad app. Other than the few links provided daily on its blog, The Daily’s web site provides no access to articles other than through those links that you may have emailed and/or posted to Twitter and/or Facebook. The Daily’s blog’s few links lead to web pages that consist of single .jpg images of the articles, not to searchable html-based text.

Why has Mr. Murdoch made the decision to operate The Daily as the equivalent of disappearing ink? Why does he force you, the subscriber, to capture a glimpse and/or link to its iPad articles at the moment your view them, or risk not having access to that information again? Why does Mr. Murdoch so cavalierly disregard your need to have control over what and when you read? Why does he think the news has no past — that it should not be retrievable beyond today’s sell-date? Is it because he has decided that it’s easier and less expensive to produce the news in only one format? Or, does he hope to force those who wish to read The Daily’s articles to do so via its iPad app? Does he not realize that providing such a hobbled interface is unacceptable?

Interestingly enough, Part 2 of The Daily’s 2-part series on robots and eldercare (published today, February 14) is rendered in html text, although other articles from today’s edition are rendered, like Part 1 (published yesterday) as single, giant jpg images.

There’s no doubt about it:  many of the The Daily’s images are visually striking, and some of its articles are interesting, information-rich, and useful. But, all of the articles disappear from view too quickly. The articles that you do make the effort to save are image-bound and non-searchable. With so many information-friendly news apps available, including Mr. Murdoch’s own Wall Street Journal iPad app, why would you choose to use the here-today-gone-tomorrow Daily?

Kaplan, the company that publishes the GRE/SAT test study guides, has made quite a few of their study guides – as well as a number of additional books – available as free e-books from January 1 through January 17, 2011.  Those of you in job search mode may find the 2009 title “Get the Interview Every Time” a timely download.  You certainly can’t beat the price:  $00.00

Get the Interview Every Time – Free Kaplan ebook via Amazon – Free until January 17, 2011

http://amzn.to/gVXjxr

If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you download the Kindle app for PC or Mac, as well as the Kindle app for your iPhone or Android phone.  That way, you can take advantage of this offer and read this book on both your computer screen and via your iPhone (and on a Kindle if you own one or on an iPad, if you’re lucky enough to own one).

I’ve pasted below the link to all of the Kaplan ebooks offered free on Amazon now through January 17, 2011.  Note that the books are offered in a number of categories:  College, Education, Legal, Medicine, Nursing, and Graduate.

Essential Guides from Kaplan – Ebooks Offered Free via Amazon until January 17, 2011

http://amzn.to/gXMIyc

If you’re a nook owner, you’re in luck, too.  Here’s the Barnes & Noble link to the free Kaplan books:

Kaplan – Free Nookbooks – Barnes & Noble

http://bit.ly/ijFWJ1

The link I’ve pasted directly below will connect you to Kaplan’s announcement of this offer, as well as provide links to the Kaplan ebooks available free for the nook, Sony Reader, iPad, and Kindle.

Kaplan Free ebook Announcement – Includes Links to Nook list, Sony Reader list, iPad list, and Kindle list – Offer Extended through Jan 17, 2011

http://www.freekaplanebooks.com/

This note is an update on the one that I wrote yesterday (December 16) about the Jane Austen e-book giveaway by Sourcebooks.

Sourcebooks announced on Twitter yesterday that it is extending its Jane Austen e-book giveaway through today, Friday, December 17.  They’ve also created links to all available e-book formats for each book and provided them here:

http://www.sourcebooks.com/component/content/article/63-marketing-and-publicity/1583-jane-austen.html

Just web on over to the above Sourcebooks page and download any or all of the books listed below:

Sense & Sensibility:  The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Pride & Prejudice: The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park: The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Emma: The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey: The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Persuasion: The Illustrated Edition by Jane Austen

Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken

The Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown

The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins

The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange

Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan

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