Wireless & Growing

Ever wonder just how many wireless hotspots can be found within a given area? Well has a great tool that allows you to input a location ( even down to zipcode) and see where they are. Soon, possibly the Library will be added to this list once we roll out Wireless access within ML & Regionals, but in the meantime, I'm amazed to see that there are already 34 locations on the list within a 2 mile area of downtown.

Bonus: Here's a recent CNN article about WiFi's growth


RFID Pros and Cons

Wow! My first post to TechBytes. Check out the Fall 2004 netconnect supplement to LJ. It comes polybagged with LJ and is probably being passed around at locations around PLCMC right now! The focus is on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. I am a little later coming to the table on this topic. Three separate pieces provide ample coverage for the novice, overviews of current vendors, and possible future library applications. I linked to the Web version if you'd rather not track down a paper copy. Check It Out! Chris


Newspaper Direct

Wow! Although I’m not sure how all the details work right now, I’m impressed with the fact that this Newspaper Direct service can deliver over 250 full format newspapers from around the world electronically the same-day. Windsor PL is the first public library IN Canada to try out this new service (info)

There’s a slew of newspaper’s already participating. I wonder if this might be of interest to look into? The company premiered the service for libraries at ALA last year and recently just launched a new print on demand service to accompany it.

BTW: Check out the Press Display site (the tool that displays the actual newspapers online). How cool is it to be able to view the the front pages from major newspapers across the world in any language? What a powerful tool for our foreign speaking population!


Flash Drives Revisited

Web Junction recently published a short report on issues surrounding the use of Flash drives (aka Thumb, Jump, USB, Pen, etc) in libraries. With these easily portable devices clearly becoming the storage device of choice, it's something our library has to seriously consider. Read on.


Google’s done it again…

Not to be outdone by Amazon’s A9 search engine that searches the contents of books online, Google announced yesterday a beta version of its newest search engine, Google Print.

Read the USA Today announcment here.
Find out more from Google here:
Try it out for yourself in Google with these book titles:
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Scarlet Letter
  • War & Peace
  • Huckleberry Finn

Any thoughts on how this development might have an impact on libraries?


Tech Planning – Difference Approaches

Web Junction recently announced their winners for their Technology Planning Award. Although the actual plans were not displayed with the winner’s results -- I don’t believe they actually submitted a plan for this, rather they just filled in questionaire -- it is interesting to read about the each library’s approach and process.


Meadow Grove Public Library
Storm Lake Public Library
Windsor Public Library

I’d love to try and get a copy of Windsor’s approach. Sounds like they really had a comprehensive approach.


WiMAX – The next wave of Wireless

The City of Pittsburgh is pursuing it ... the town of Davidson has started it ... and even PLCMC has it at Steele Creek (& soon more to follow). But how will wireless and all this free access affect service? And what’s on the horizon in area of Wireless? MSN offers this interesting perspective.
Barbed Wireless: Why high-speed Net access won't be free.


RFID & Self Check-out

Santa Clara library has put together an excellent overview of their implementation process of RFID and patron self checkout at their library.

View More


MP3 audiobooks

The future of MP3 players is gaining in acceptance and a few companies, including, are offering this new service. Currently you need a special player from Audible to play their files, but changes are on the horizon that would make easy for any MP3 player to download titles to listen to that would expire based upon a preset expiration time.

Here's an interesting article outlining the current trend and possibility of what's ahead.

They Want Their MP3 (SJL, July 2004)


Flash - Key Chain - USB drives (or whatever you want ot call them)

I saw a teen walking around yesterday with a three flash drives hooked on his book bag. It made me realize how fast storage devices are changing and with more and more users becoming familar with this portal product, the demand is already here.

Here's a little article that offers a good overview from Northwestern University Library.


Yahoo goes Local

Last week Yahoo unveiled a beta version of a search engine which is suppose to make searching for local information a whole lot easier. The jury stills out of how useful it will be, but several third parties are already jumping on board

As a general information guide it might be lacking a bit. (ex. public library lists Group Services as it own library, Colleges – reveals everything from Central Piedment to College Place restaurant).

But if you need to find a restaruarant with "deli" in its name within a mile of the downtown area, then it surely can be a help.

It will be intetesting to where they take it.

Yahoo Local:
More info: Observer article


Charlotte Observer in new format

Recently I noticed that the Charlotte Observer has introduced a new electronic format the paper edition - the E-dition.

After hearing comments this past week during Charles' staff address about the need for more copies of CO, I wonder if this would offer a viable option.

Wouldn't it be great if you could access the last 30 days (or whatever) in e-dition format that mimics the print without having to maintain a huge paper file. Just a thought. It might be worth checking out.


Technology Planning 101

Web Junction has pulled together an excellent group of articles focusing on developing a Library Technology Plan.

Other Resources:

LIFT Text translator for Web Accessiblity

An interesting new alternative for library web developers who aren't savvy with WAI guidelines. Copy from Useable Net:

In the last two weeks of July, nine organizations (including one PL Orange
County Library System) have committed to adding text-only versions to their
websites using the LIFT Text Transcoder to support a two-pronged approach to web

Get a demo of your site with the text-only option added

This two-pronged approach helps to instantly increase the general
accessibility of all current web content, while allowing webmasters to focus
limited resources on developing new content using current web accessibility
guidelines. By implementing a central server-based solution with the LIFT Text
Transcoder, all content can be accessed in a text-only version, dramatically
increasing the web accessibility of older, more disbursed content by adding a
simple link to pages.

Some new live Examples - see "text-only" links

Maryland Transit Authority (text only link top left)
NJ Dept of Personnal (text only link on main navigation bar)


Welcome to Blogsphere

Technology, remote offerings and the capability to deliver new an exciting services through Library means is as never shifting challenge. What was cutting edge just yesterday is main stream today and keeping up with all the changes and advances can be daunting.

This blog is an attempt to keep up with these changes and stay informed. So bookmark the site, feel free to contribute and join me on the ride.