Showing posts from December, 2010

Amazon lending program - what should libraries do in response?

A self-published author recently forwarded this email to me. It's intriguing on several levels.

From: "Amazon DTP"
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:47 PM
Subject: Announcing Amazon’s Kindle Book Lending Program

Dear Publisher,

We are excited to announce Kindle book lending ( The Kindle Book Lending feature allows users to lend digital books they have purchased through the Kindle Store to their friends and family. Each book may be lent once for a duration of 14 days and will not be readable by the lender during the loan period.

All DTP titles are enrolled in lending by default. For titles in the 35% royalty option, you may choose to opt out of lending by deselecting the checkbox under "Kindle Book Lending," in the "Rights and Pricing" section of the title upload/edit process. You may not choose to opt out a title if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. For more details…

Library Journal highlights eDiscover the Classics project

A nice article here about CLiC's wonderful project. This Monday, we had about four people per hour coming to the reference desk asking for help with their new ebook readers. Thanks to the eDiscover the Classics project, and the wonderful how to guides posted by our staff here, we were able to help them. We have more to do in this area, but I believe it was vital for the library to appear ready to help our patrons with this new technology - or risk losing them altogether.

New computer

I got my HP a520 Pavilion computer in May of 2004, and used nothing but Linux on it. Eventually, the fan gasped, memory chips were dying, and using it was getting painful. So I upgraded it for Christmas. I am now running a little System76 desktop machine, 2 gigs of RAM, prebundled with Ubuntu 10.10, "Maverick Meerkat." It's a 64 bit machine, but I can't say as it feels blindingly fast. Much faster than the old HP, for sure. It cost under $400, and will probably last me another 6 years.

It didn't take long to set up. It found monitor and printer with no problem - no setup necessary. I was stumped for a bit until I realized that what I thought was a flash drive was in fact the wireless modem. Nifty. The work of maybe half an hour to grab all my other programs, set things up for multimedia.

I fiddled around with Evolution (Outlook for Linux) for an unnecessary period of time, trying to get it to use my Google contacts and calendar. The trick seemed to be to start th…

The Nook and public domain books

Through the good graces of the the Colorado Library Consortium, my library added about 500 Project Gutenberg titles, mostly classics, to its catalog. In the past week, I've used that to read several books on my cell phone. Today I found a good review of the Barnes and Noble Nook Color ebook reader, ("It ain't heavy, it's my e-reader," by Nate Anderson") and was struck by this:

If e-book readers have done one thing for me above all else, it's getting me to read some terrific public domain books. In the last two weeks, I've been plowing through The Education of Henry Adams, Thoreau's wonderfully over-the-top essay on "Walking," Kafka's "Metamorphosis," Byron's Don Juan, and a late Victorian translation/abridgment of The Arabian Nights. I wouldn't have read these on a computer screen, I wouldn't have printed them out, and I wouldn't have bothered to purchase them—but I'm enjoying each of them tremendously.

Castle Rock Arts Center

Produced for NewsTeam Boulder and TV Newsgathering class at the University of Colorado. Many thanks to Greater Castle Rock Art Guild and Front Range Theatre Company.

Look carefully, and you'll see the famous Tuna Boys at the beginning, and my "giddy as a school boy" dance for Scrooge.

Conclusion: I should grow back my beard.But it's good to see this big step forward for the Castle Rock fine arts community.

Douglas County Libraries' "it" campaign

This video archives some of the cool posters we did highlighting our remarkable staff!