Rent a book?

December 20, 2007

Two beta sites have come to our attention that allow users, for a fee, to create a list of books they’d like to read, receive the books in the mail, read them and ship them back with free paid postage.  These sites are BookSwim and Paperspine.


BookSwim’s tagline is “Don’t Buy Books, Rent Them!”  Users can search by title, author or ISBN or browse through titles.  BookSwim has 185,000 titles to choose from.  Plans are available for 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 books at a time starting at $14.99 a month.  The site also has a feature where you can keep a book and pay for it online.  You can browse titles by categories and each item features a link where you can purchase the book from Amazon.  Here is a more detailed explanation of how it works.  And here is a link to their blog.


Paperspine’s tagline is “revolutionizing the way you read books.”  Users can search by title, author or ISBN and also browse.  Paperspine has over 150,000 titles to choose from and has four available plans based on what type of reader you are: Light, Frequent, Avid or a Family.  Prices range from $9.95 to $24.95.  Light and Frequent plans allow two books at a time with the Light plan charging $1.49 for shipping.  The Avid plan allows three books at a time, while the Family plan allows five books at a time.  Here is a more detailed explanation of how Paperspine works.  Here is a link to their blog.


World Digital Library

December 13, 2007

World Digital Library

“The World Digital Library will make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research.” –from the World Digital Library Website

Click here to read more about the World Digital Library project.

The partners involved in this project so far are the Library of Congress, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, National Library of BrazilNational Library and Archives of Egypt, National Library of Russia, Russian State Library, and UNESCO.

For more information, please also see these news releases from the Library of Congress: March 15, 2004, November 22, 2005, November 16, 2006, and October 17, 2007.

Amazon Debuts New eBook Reader

December 10, 2007

Amazon's Kindle

The Kindle is Amazon’s new wireless reading device.  Click on the link to see the features of the product, a video demonstration, available titles, and customer reviews – good and bad. 

Bloggers in the library world are also discussing the Kindle here, here, and here.   Search LisZen, a library and information science search engine, if you’d like to see what more people are saying.

 **According to Amazon, the product is currently sold out.  –12/10/2007

MLA Forum

December 7, 2007

MLA Forum Logo

Have you presented a paper at a meeting or conference? Does your institution encourage you to publish your work? If so, the MLA Forum may be the journal you need. MLA Forum is a peer-reviewed online journal sponsored by the Michigan Library Association. It is indexed in Library and Information Science Abstacts (LISA) and also found on Google Scholar. Contributors to the MLA Forum do not need to be members of MLA.

The journal’s mission is to address issues of importance to libraries of all types throughout the state and nation. MLA Forum is currently seeking articles, book reviews, and reports relevant to the library profession. For publication consideration, please submit one copy of a manuscript to the editor, Michael Lorenzen at

Sense-making in the Universe of Scholarly Communications

December 4, 2007

Lee C. Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries, Grand Valley State University presented “Sense-making in the Universe of Scholarly Communications” at the Academic Librarian’s Luncheon at the Michigan Library Association Conference in November.

Please click here to download Dean Van Orsdel’s PowerPoint presentation.

Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control releases draft report

December 3, 2007

Library of Congress Logo

The Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has released its draft final report.  It is now available for comment until December 15, 2007.  Comments can be submitted through the  website at

The report highlights five general recommendations (from the Press Release from the Library of Congress Public Affairs Office):

  • Increase the efficiency of bibliographic production for all libraries through cooperation and sharing of bibliographic records and through use of data produced in the overall supply chain.
  • Transfer effort into high-value activity. In particular, provide greater value for knowledge creation by leveraging access for unique materials held by libraries that are currently hidden and underused.
  • Position technology by recognizing that the World Wide Web is libraries’ technology platform as well as the appropriate platform for standards. Recognize that users are not only people but also applications that interact with library data.
  • Position the library community for the future by adding evaluative, qualitative and quantitative analyses of resources. Work to realize the potential of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) framework.
  • Strengthen the library and information science profession through education and through development of metrics that will inform decision-making now and in the future.