Overdrive & Project Gutenberg e-books

Did you hear the news?

Boston Public Library, Overdrive’s partner, now has 15,000 Project Gutenberg e-books in their Overdrive collection. They are accessed through the Overdrive platform, have no checkout or check in, but are also counted in their stats. The advantage is one-stop shopping. Overdrive says it will be available to all of us in the future. Read more about it in the Library Journal article.

Anyone can go to the Project Gutenberg site and get the titles for free now, of course.  There are over 33,000 e-books in the total collection. They are things that the copyright has expired on, so a classic book is in this case a classic example (sorry).

Here’s how to download from their collection to your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

1. Go to the iBookstore and download the Stanza (free) or the QuickReader ($). follow the instructions below and enjoy your book.

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Books are going out the door

The Boston Globe reported a week ago that the Cushing Academy, a prestigious prep school in western Massachusetts, is replacing its 20,000-volume book collection with a “learning center” containing 18 eBook readers and three giant TV screens. It’s replacing the reference desk with a $12,000 espresso machine.

“It’s a little strange, but this is the future.”

ALA executive director Keith Michael Fiels says this is the first library he is aware of to eliminate books.

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “Our feeling,” he says, “is that we love books so much that we want our students to not have 20,000, but millions.”

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Is an iLibrary in Your Future?

I just received a request from a state agency for audio books. After spending some frustrating minutes with our Overdrive collection I had this idea:

Has anyone ever heard of Apple licensing their iTunes store software? I think that iTunes would be the perfect platform for libraries to use to provide access to their digital music, video, podcasts, courseware, games, and audio books.

Libraries have been stricken by massive inside-the-box thinking. The library model has always been that (1) access needs to be provided through an online catalog; (2) that materials should be provided for free; and (3) that library customers should borrow and return items.

Continue reading Is an iLibrary in Your Future?