Thursday, January 31, 2013

Promoting Gutenberg

This is a project that's been going on for a good while: Project Gutenberg began in 1971 as an attempt to digitize public domain works - classic literature - for computer-based reading.

Originally the works were mostly done up as plain text (.txt format) as that was the easiest and most accessible.  However, with the advent of ebooks / ereader devices that can mimic classic font styles - and with HTML format for ereader apps allowing for graphics/illustrations - more works have been put in more legible, more comfortable reader formats such as PDF, ePub and MOBI.

And as works of public domain - expired copyright, only in the United States however, some nations may not be able to access - these downloads can be had for free.  Sure, we're not talking the latest Danielle Steel or Stephen King work here, but we ARE talking about must-reads like Great Expectations, Les Miz, Huck Finn, Machiavelli's The Prince, the Kama... oooh, wait, kids could be reading this...

Anywho.  For all ereaders out there, Gutenberg is a great place to expand your e-collection.

Please also donate to Project Gutenberg, it is a non-profit.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just To State My Biggest Current Woe finding where I can find a relatively cheap yet durable bicycle.  I need to get out more, and I prefer biking more than walking.  But I need to find a bike that can handle a 300-plus pound body (I'm not fat, I'm big boned!  No, seriously, being broad-shouldered and over 6'2" is part of the problem).

I think it's the tires I gotta worry about.  The last time I had a bike they kept going flat on me, and the bike in question was a 10-speed with thin wheels...

Friday, January 4, 2013

What Is Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy is one of the trends in librarianship.  What exactly is it?

It is the ability to read, understand, rework, redirect, and sometimes create brand new digital information in a shared digital environment.

It means more than just receiving and sending emails.  It means more than just getting an ereader and downloading ebooks.  It means taking every raw bit of data floating in the Internet 'verse (once considered a series of tubes but in the current context the Internet is now a cloud), text and images and sounds and movement (yes even that) and working with all that data to create new information with its own context for sharing and further use.

A digital environment that exists as an interactive environment.

It requires an understanding of social media, of expectation of action response and reaction.

As libraries are a point of learning and education, digital literacy's importance to libraries and librarians can't be overstated.  Librarians have to be adept with digital information, online resources, sharing of resources, creative input and output.  As libraries are becoming less a source of print media (and even AV media as more and more audio and visual materials are online), libraries are becoming more a workplace, an open table shop where people can gather to work on projects.  I'm seeing local colleges clear out reference shelves - reference books now made obsolete by digital resources - and creating more study areas.  Libraries are now opening coffee shops inside the buildings as draws, when once before we frowned on food and drink because spills would affect our book collections.

Being literate with digital information - being creative with information - is now a major requirement for public support librarians.

Just remember: Tweeting shorthand is only good for Twitter.  Please write in proper Anglish for all other communiques.  Smileys still optional.  :-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Going Into 2013 With an Egg Timer and Twenty Ideas

And none of the ideas involve using the Egg Timer.

(ow, stop hitting me)

Okay, the Egg Timer is a symbol of my needing to GET SOME MORE WRITING DONE and EDITED FOR PUBLISHING.

Be right back.