Category Archives: Accessibility

Accessibility and eReaders: functional requirements

eReaders aren’t designed with accessibility in mind. Ken Petri, Director of the Web Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University, contributed a chapter about eBook accessibility to the forthcoming No Shelf Required 2:  Use and Management of Ebooks title from ALA Editions.  Due to the need for currency of this topic, Ken has posted some material on a website.  This information includes:

Ken was interviewed by No Shelf Required back in October of 2010. The post about the interview contains links to many resources.

No Shelf Required’s two new publications

No Shelf Required has been busy this past year exploring the many topics of eBooks and libraries.  Very soon, two new publications will be available from ALA Publishing which share the No Shelf Required name.  These new publications contain completely new content, expanding upon No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries, ALA Editions, 2011. Details are below.  For a complete list of NSR publications, please visit our publications page.

The first publication will be the No Shelf Required Guide to E-Book Purchasing.  This guide will appear in the November/December (v. 47 n. 8)  issue of Library Technology Reports (direct URL coming soon).  Chapters and contributors in this double issue include: Continue reading

SciVerse adds text-to-speech application, iSpeech Audio Reader

Great news from Elsevier about the new iSpeech Audio Reader application which instantly converts  any full-text article within ScienceDirect into a natural sounding voice file.  We see a lot of these mp3 files used for auditory learners, students with disabilities, and foreign language learners at my institution. More from the press release below:

Elsevier, a world leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the availability of an audio reader application from iSpeech, provider of cloud-based speech technology and mobile apps, on SciVerse Applications beta. The iSpeech Audio Reader is the latest in a growing list of applications enhancing the use of SciVerse ScienceDirect content to improve researchers’ workflows.

The iSpeech Audio Reader text-to-speech application instantly converts any full-text article within SciVerse ScienceDirect, the world’s largest source of peer-reviewed scientific content containing more than 10 million articles, into a natural sounding voice file. It enables researchers to easily convert articles into MP3 audio files and listen to them on any MP3-friendly device. Continue reading

NISO publishes special ebook issue of Information Standards Quarterly, free download

The Spring 2011 issue of NISO’s Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ)
magazine has a special issue theme of Views of the E-book Renaissance. ISQ
Guest Content Editor, October Ivins of Ivins eContent Solutions has pulled
together a broad range of perspectives on what is happening today with
e-books and particularly with e-book standards. As she states in her
introductory letter: “Our goal for this issue of ISQ is to present an
overview of the status of e-books from multiple perspectives-publishers and
other content producers, librarians, and the many vendors who support their
creation, management, sales, and distribution. Not coincidentally, it also
illustrates the scope of the NISO community.”

In the first feature article, Bill Kasdorf (Apex Content Solutions) provides
an update on EPUB 3, the new generation of the EPUB specification just
issued by the IDPF, and likens it to opening a Pandora’s box, but where “all
the creatures bursting out can be made to behave in a civilized way.” This
is followed with answers by Marlie Wasserman (Rutgers University Press) to
10 questions on the state of e-book publishing for university presses. Continue reading

New Jersey eBook Summit Summary – part two

Please note that the part two blog post has now been added to the New Jersey eBook Summit Summary.

Today the NJ State Library, LinbraryLinkNJ- The NJ Library Cooperative, NJ Library Association and the NJLA Reference Section sponsored an E-book Summit in Eatontown, New Jersey.  The line-up of speakers included:

  • Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library
  • Sue Polanka, Wright State University Library & No Shelf Required
  • Robert Miller, Director of Books, Internet Archive
  • Mary Minow, Attorney, Consultant, and Former Librarian
  • Joseph Sanchez, University of Colorado – Denver Continue reading

ALA TechSource webinar series – Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library

ALA TechSource has just opened registration for the upcoming webinar series on e-books and e-readers.  I hope you can join us.

Integrating E-Books and E-Readers into Your Library
with Sue Polanka

Two 90-minute sessions
Thursdays 8/4/11 and 8/11/11
2:30 – 4:00 PM EDT | 1:30 – 3:00 PM CDT
12:30 – 2:00 PM MDT | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM PDT

With the exploding popularity of e-books and e-reading devices, librarians are grappling with how to effectively integrate them into their services and collections. Sue Polanka is back by popular demand to present this two-session ALA TechSource workshop on how to go about it. With her practical guidance you will learn how to begin purchasing and lending e-books for your library, and how to purchase e-reading devices for patron use. Continue reading

ebrary launches use-triggered short-term loans

From an ebrary press release:  ebrary®, a leading provider of e-books and research technology, today announced the availability of usage-triggered Short-Term Loans.  Currently in beta, this groundbreaking model provides libraries with all of the benefits of traditional short-term loans with the added advantage of only paying if titles are used.

ebrary’s new Short-Term Loans can be a library’s standalone cost-saving service, or used in conjunction with ebrary’s Patron Driven Acquisition program to offer an additional layer of mediation before titles are triggered for purchase.  As YBP’s preferred e-book vendor, ebrary also makes Short-Term Loans available through YBP’s Demand Driven Acquisition service. Continue reading

The Ohio Digital Bookshelf, webinar summary

The Ohio Digital Bookshelf, Where will the 2nd Year Take Us?  A Webinar from the University System of Ohio TeachU, Presented by Stephen R. Acker, Research Director, The Ohio Digital Bookshelf

The slides for the webinar are available on slideshare and the webinar archive.

The following is a summary of my interpretation of the webinar.  My best efforts were made to ensure accuracy.

Affordability, engagement and preparedness are the 3 big factors that influence student success in college.  For many of higher education faculty, admistrators, and policy creators years ago, these were mutually reinforcing- “poverty” as a teaching associate led to more campus-based activity and greater preparedness through grading, lecturing, and the like. Now, higher costs for education and lack of related income-generating opportunities for students, drives students off campus and takes time they would better be spending on study. We need to concentrate on affordability if we’re to bring campus engagement and preparedness back into reasons for successrather than reasons for failure for today’s student, who lives in a much different world. Continue reading

Four No Shelf Required Contributors Named 2011 LJ Movers and Shakers

No Shelf Required II:  The Use and Management of E-Books is currently underway with ALA Editions.  The forthcoming book offers a look at digital only libraries, device lending programs, consortial purchasing, eBook access issues (digital divide, accessibility, archiving/preservation, and weeding/updating), digital textbooks, the use of ebook/ereader technology in the classroom, and much much more.  When complete, it will contain 26 chapters written by 28 contributors, representing school, public, and academic libraries, publishers, consultants, and faculty.

I am pleased to announce that four of the contributors were named 2011 Library Journal Movers and Shakers.  They are:

Bobbi Newman

Buffy J. Hamilton

Joseph Sanchez

Sue Polanka

Congrats to these and all of the 2011 Library Journal Movers and Shakers!

TOC Keynote, Making the book truly accessible, Jim Fruchterman, Benetech

Jim Fruchterman wants to make the book truly accessible and feels we have a good start, but a long way to go. Bookshare is the largest online library for people with disabilities, they download more than 1 million books per year. His service only serves about 1% of the population, and they turn away so many people who don’t qualify for the free service.  He feels this is an untapped market for publishers.  People with disabilities want to buy books, read books, listen to books, etc.  At bookshare, they do a lot of content conversion to more accessible formats and can offer the content back to the publishers.  Their main product is the digital text, which is not a commercial quality ebook, thus you won’t find them on pirated sites. If Bookshare finds any of their titles on pirated sites, they contact the client, remove content, etc. Continue reading