Friday, April 22, 2011

Amazon To Bring Ebook Lending to Local Libraries

Is it:
a) an exciting development for libraries and Kindle users alike or
b) about time Amazon got with the program - the Nook and all other e-book readers have been doing this for years?

That seems to be the debate on Mashable and elsewhere.

Personally, I think it's both. The only people I know who have e-book readers all have Kindles. For them, it will be a great opportunity to access more free reading material - especially my mother, who lives in a rural area with very limited (physical) library access. On the other hand, this is something the competition (most notably, Barnes & Noble with the Nook) have been doing well for quite some time. Amazon is pretty much the last one to the party when it comes to e-book library lending, yet they get headlines? (And isn't it ironic that they announce this big story shortly before having the planet's biggest cloud server failure, sending websites around the world -including the MLC website - plunging into darkness for 2 days?)

Ah, technology. It's a love-hate relationship.

Mostly love, though.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Visuwords Revisted: A Guest Post

Visuwords Re-Visited
Each year I get dozens of referals to educational websites from co-workers, colleagues, magazines and newsletters. Time constraints and site usefulness often result in a visit or two, and then the site is forgotten. However, one site that I seem to return to time and time again is

I often use the site as both dictionary and thesuarus and believe it would a great site to use with a SMARTBoard. Visuwords is also very easy to use:
  • Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree.
  • Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom.
  • Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.
Developed by university students, Visuwords uses Princeton’s WordNet open source database and is free for everyone.

--Jason Brazier, MLC Technology Administrator
For a demonstration of Visuwords, check out this screen-cast video!