March 2013, Volume 5, Issue 3
Check Your Calendars!!
Read Across America Day
World Read Aloud Day
Teen Tech Week
PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
School Library Month
National Library Week
World Book Night
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Is there an app for that?
More information on Important New IMLS Guidance: E-Book Reader Lending Programs
The IMLS ADVISORY: E-BOOK READER LENDING PROGRAMS has raised questions about what resources are considered accessible. There is no definitive list; however, the last paragraph of the advisory, linked here from Wisconsin: pld.dpi.wi.gov (PDF) states (emphasis ours):
"We appreciate your consideration of this essential access issue and look forward to working with you to ensure that technological advances are used for the benefit of all library users. The Department of Justice operates a toll-free, technical assistance line to answer questions with regard to the requirements of federal laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities. For technical assistance, please call (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY). Specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM (ET) except for Thursday, when the hours are 12:30 PM until 5:30 PM. These specialists have been trained specifically to address questions regarding accessible electronic book readers. Additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education is available at www2.ed.gov (PDF).
When providing any program or opportunity, librarians need to practice due diligence. Look for devices that have the ability to be made accessible. Regarding e-readers, the National Federation of the Blind notes (https://nfb.org/node/966): "E-readers can be made accessible through text-to-speech technology and/or the ability to output content to external Braille displays, but the NOOK does not have any of these features."
Persons have different types of disabilities. To become better educated about accessibility and e-reader devices, see the following resources:
- Colorado State University Ebook Subcommittee (2011) created a committee on ebook readers and accessibility in 2011. The report is linked below and has a chart. This report is an excellent overview of things to consider when looking at devices, including varied types of ability. The report is from 2011, so updated versions of devices may have different features. Colorado State University report: lib.colostate.edu chart towards the end of the report with comparison/criteria (page 8)
- The Accessible Technology Coalition provides an annotated list of devices and their accessibility features—newer version of devices may have different features: atcoalition.org
- Ohio State University: Ken Petri wac.osu.edu supplemental material from the No Shelf Required 2: Use and Management of Electronic Books chapter by Ken Petri on Accessibility Issues in E-books and E-book Readers
Device manufacturers often provide accessibility information. Below are links to accessibility for some of the popular e-reading devices:
- iPad accessibility page (includes vision, hearing and physical and motor skills): www.apple.com
- Nook accessibility: www.barnesandnoble.com
- Amazon accessibility: www.amazon.com
Black Hills Knowledge Network to participate in national conference
The Black Hills Knowledge Network has been invited to participate with other metropolitan cities in the national Transforming Local Government Conference (TLG), April 10 -11, in Atlanta, GA.
The 2013 TLG Conference will be presented by the Alliance for Innovation and co-hosted by the Georgia City and County Manager's Association (GCCMA). By combining TLG and the Annual Conference for GCCMA, this joint conference will allow participants to gaze through the looking glass to see and hear those stories of innovation on a national, international and regional basis. TLG attracts participation from local governments that are deliberately seeking new and innovative ways to connect people, information and ideas that support their efforts to be the best communities in which to live, work and prosper. The TLG conference is recognized for its dynamic content that encourages free thinking and fosters unprecedented ideas.
The Black Hills Knowledge Network session is called "What's Missing in the Age of Google?" and will include the framework and details being used to collect information generated by local government, media and nonprofits – community information that cannot be found in a typical Google search. Further conference details may be found at www.tlgconference.org.
Rapid City Public Library Director, Greta Chapman, stated, "We are also excited about opening up conversations on the east side of the state for a statewide Knowledge Network model. If you should be interested in hearing and learning please don't hesitate to contact me or any of the partner libraries."
A chronological history of the project is available at www.blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org.
Managing technology assets: TechAtlas for Libraries discontinued
Libraries who participated in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hardware grants were required to conduct technology inventories in TechAtlas for Libraries. The State Library has received word that TechAtlas will be discontinued as of March 29, 2013.
Kendra Morgan, who worked with SD libraries using TechAtlas, released a statement that included this information:
"As we prepare for this transition, we are recommending that libraries that use TechAtlas for hardware inventory and the Event Tracker feature move their inventory to a freely available tool called Spiceworks. Spiceworks currently has 2.3 million users and an active online support community as well as technical support available to help users with the tools…
Spiceworks has also established a TechAtlas user group where users can post questions and get responses from the Spiceworks community and will also be monitored by TechAtlas staff to make sure that we get any issues resolved. Please feel free to join and follow the conversation on the Spiceworks site. Here are instructions for joining the group. (www.webjunction.org PDF)…"
Other free tools are available, including simple spreadsheets, depending on your needs. Managing Technology Assets by WebJunction contains information with links to tools and templates.