Are books dead, and can authors survive?

Posted on August 26, 2011. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , |

At the Edinburgh international book festival this weekend, Ewan Morrison set out his bleak vision of a publishing industry in terminal decline.  Morrison thinks that within 25 years paper books will no longer exist and that writing, as a profession, will cease to exist.

Read his argument here.

What do you think?

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More eBook news from the State Library

Posted on August 25, 2011. Filed under: Books, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , , |

The State Library is pleased to announce the pilot of its EBook Library (EBL) service has now begun!

This collection is comprised of 2,500 Australian books, mainly academic in nature and all being e-versions of published books held in the Library. This service is aimed at people who either can’t get in to use the collection or would like to use the book for a longer period of time or at another location and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

From the Library website click on the eresources link on the right hand side, then go to Access from Home and then scroll down to Ebook Library and log in.

You will have to be a registered State Library user to use this service, but once you’ve logged on just follow the directions and download as many books as you want. Each book will last on your device for 14 days, after which it will become inactive and you will need to re-borrow it if required.

To become a registered borrower, go to the Library website and follow the link How do I?…. get a library card for details.

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Overdrive Most Downloaded Books

Posted on February 8, 2011. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , |

The DigitalLibrary blog has an article about the most downloaded ebooks. The DigitalLibrary blog is a blog for Overdrive, the audio and ebook service that we looked at and which is used by some public library services in Australia, notably Yarra Plenty Public Library.

Each month overdrive produces their Most Downloaded Books from the Library lists. These feature popular eBook and audiobook downloads from all libraries in Overdrive’s global network. In this post here you can look at the most popular downloaded books in the UK, Canada and the US.

In our neck of the woods Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden appears on the Most Downloaded Adult Fiction list, while House Rules  by Jodi Picoult has reached number one. Also, Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens is one of the most downloaded nonfiction novels in Australia.

Take a peek at the Most Downloaded Books from the Library (Australia) list – any surprises there?

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eBooks out-circulating audiobooks via Overdrive

Posted on December 31, 2010. Filed under: Books, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , |

Digital Library blog is reporting that (in the US) for the first time ever, eBooks are out-circulating audiobooks in Overdrive – the ebook and audiobook online lending service.

“Library eBook circulation has steadily grown over the past month, starting on Nov. 26, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday. (Like Christmas, many people had new devices, thanks to Black Friday deals, plus they had time to use them.)

To show you what happened in one month, we’ve compared usage from Nov. 26-28 (around US Thanksgiving) to Dec. 25-27 (around Christmas).

  • eBook checkouts increased a staggering 93%
  • Visits to ‘Virtual Branch’ websites were up 60%
  • Pageviews were up nearly 70%”

Read the full article here.

Who got an eReader for Christmas? You can try these things out – we had a test of Overdrive a while back and won’t be persuing it for now but if you want to take a look one place you can do so is at Yarra Plenty Library – you can join online for free and use Overdrive and now the Bolinda service too!!! 


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Sites sites sites!

Posted on November 26, 2010. Filed under: Web sites | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

A selection of sites I have added this month to our Delicious account: is an Australian blog about digital publishing, e-reading, related gadgets and the future of the book

Birds Australia offers loads information and resources on Australian birds.

Bike Map – Penrith ~ Windsor ~ Blue Mountains from the RTA, pdf download of the cycleway map for Penrith, Windsor and the Blue Mountains

RTA cycleway maps Links to pdf downloadable cycleway maps in metropolitan and regional NSW.

blekko Search engine with results tweaked by humans to hopefully reduce links to spam pages: you can tilt your search results in the direction you like by using a category of bias, like ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative.’ Categorisation lists are applied by appending a ‘slashtag.’

NSW Multicultural Health Free downloadable multilingual health information in up to 45 languages

Early exlorers in Australia (eBook) From log-books and journals, this book by Ida Lee was first published in 1925. A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Vaughan Evans Digital Library: Australian National Maritime Museum The Vaughan Evans Library is the research library of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Access electronic magazines, books and registers of shipping via their digital library

Friends of Blackheath Pool and Memorial Park The blog of the Friends of Blackheath Pool & Memorial Park

Legal Books Online A selection of up-to-date legal information books available online, page maintained by Find Legal Answers, a service of State Library of NSW. Includes selected chapters from the latest edition of the Law Handbook.

artfiles: Artfiles is the key portal to the world of the arts in Western Sydney. Information on artists, cultural organisations, art funding and education in the region. Includes Blue Mountains information.

climatechange2010.pdf: The Science of Climate Change – Q & A,  from the Australian Academy of Science 2010.

The Naked Scientists Online: Science Podcast and Science Radio Show. The Naked Scientists are a media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University who use radio, live lectures, and the Internet to strip science down to its bare essentials, and promote it to the general public

Study Search Australia An Australian customised educational search engine for students with primary and secondary options.


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Australian Women’s Weekly goes online

Posted on November 22, 2010. Filed under: Web sites | Tags: , , , |

Early editions of The Australian Women’s Weekly are now available on Trove.

Issues from the first publication on 10 June 1933 (see its cover page below) to when it changed to a monthly on 15 December 1982, are now online at for everyone to read now and into the future.


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International Music Score Library Project

Posted on October 30, 2010. Filed under: Web sites | Tags: , |

I thought that the International Music Score Library Project site might be of interest to staff and library customers. When you select a score for downloading, you are reminded to be careful of the copyright laws applicable in your country – this caution was enough to stop me from going any further, as I didn’t feel sure about where I stood with downloading a complete score and, if I can download it, can I then print it? I welcome your thoughts and advice on this, Kathy. (Still… a neat webste).

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Posted on September 9, 2010. Filed under: Writing | Tags: , |

I’ve lifted this holus-bolus from Stephen’s Lighthouse

LG will Mass Produce 19 inch Flexible e-Paper and 9.7 inch Color E-paper by the end of 2010

“Korean electronics manufacturer LG, who makes the screens for the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle, has revealed in SEC filings that they are continuing to break new ground with e-paper technology, moving forward with plans for both color and flexible models that will work with both e-readers and tablets.

LG Display has developed the world’s largest flexible electronic-paper screen measuring 25cm by 40cm, which translates into a 19-inch screen size. With 0.3mm thickness and 130g weight, it utilizes a metal foil instead of a traditional glass to make itself both flexible and durable.”

Mass production should bring the price down to Toys-R-Us status. This is going to make some really interesting devices and products in 2011. I can easily imagine tying this to wireless loads and having some pretty engaging and changing library signage for a start. Aren’t you sick of years-old laser printed B&W signs everywhere?

Anyone able to think of other uses we could put this to?


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Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , |

Colleen and I are set for a day trip to sunny Blacktown next Tuesday (24th) for an ‘eResources Demonstration and Trade Show’.

My initial reaction at seeing the title was to think, “why torture myself with the unattainable”, but I’ve been persuaded it’ll be useful and interesting and so have warned the family, printed out the map and co-ordinated meeting times with Colleen.

This Stephen’s Lighthouse article today just nicely reinforces our decision to get a good look at what’s out there.

Here are the highlights :

The Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study from ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics just released their 2009-10 statistics. Included in this report was U.S. public libraries providing access to ebooks” – which was 65.9% – that’s an average, 100% of Hawaiian libraries offer ebooks.


The Vancouver Public Library is attributing its huge increase in new memberships – 60,000 new members in the 2008/09 year and increase of 43% on the previous year – to the new popularity of ebooks.


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The Bringing Them Home oral history interviews

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Web sites | Tags: , , , |

To mark the second anniversary of the apology to members of the Stolen Generations, the National Library has launched a special website featuring the oral history interviews with people who were involved in or affected by the removal of Indigenous children from their families.

The aim of the project has been to collect and preserve the stories of affected Indigenous people and others, including police, missionaries and administrators.

The Bringing Them Home interviews are being made available in consultation with the people interviewed or their next of kin.

The link has been added to our recommended sites. Check it out here.


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