Soundprint’s ‘Who Needs Libraries?’

OhioLINK’s Meg Spernoga pointed our staff to a 30 minute audio documentary called Who Needs Libraries? from Soundprint.org:

As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and in this program Producer Richard Paul explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world. This program airs as part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.

“iTunes U” for Libraries?

A recent posting in the Chronicle of Higher Education “Wired Campus” section describes the new iTunes U portal, “a spot on the site that will collect college lectures, commencement speeches, tours, sports highlights, and promotional material, all available at no cost.” (If you have iTunes on your desktop/laptop, you can use this link to visit iTunes U in the iTunes Store.) Now, according to the Apple press release, “content from iTunes can be loaded onto an iPodĀ® with just one click and experienced on-the-go, anytime, making learning from a lecture just as simple as enjoying music.”

Brewster Kahle on the Economics and Feasibility of Mass Book Digitization

Brewster Kahle, Director of the Internet Archive, was interviewed this week in a Chronicle of Higher Education podcast on the Economics and Feasibility of Mass Book Digitization. Among the many interesting points in the interview was that one of the biggest challenges is to such a mass digitization effort to believe that to digitize massive numbers of books and make them available is actually possible. The Open Content Alliance has put together a suite of technology that brings down the cost for a color scan with OCR to 10 cents per page or about $30 per book. He then goes on to perform this calculation: the library system in the U.S. is a 12B industry. One million books digitized a year is $30M, or “a little less than .3 percent of one year’s budget of the United States library system would build a 1 million book library that would be available to anyone for free.” He also covers copyright concerns including the more liberal copyright laws in countries such as China.

Can You Hear Me Now? DLTJ as a Podcast

Update 19-Jan-2011: I’ve decommissioned this service. Talkr seems to be unavailable, and I haven’t had time to find a replacement.

If reading the thoughts of the Jester via this blog wasn’t enough, you can now hear this witty (witless?) insights read to you through your favorite podcast player. I’ve been messing with some technology this weekend for a mashup of my own.

First, start with the Talkr service, which will take the text of your RSS feed posts and convert them to an audio file of a computer generated voice speaking the text to you. The audio file is included as an attachment in a new RSS feed of your post content. In the sidebar of DLTJ, you can subscribe to audio version of this blog using the “Subscribe to Postcast” graphic.Subscribe to Podcast graphic