10 euros to turn mobile phone users into book readers?

A German e-reader company has launched its device . Likely to be priced at a startling €10, the txtr beagle  5” e-reader is small and light, and runs on two AAA batteries.Txtr Beagle gadget

Txtr is planning to tackle a growing problem: how to turn mobile phone users into book readers, a potential market, which could be huge.

At €10, the beagle may not feel like having to buy another device, and therefore might appeal to readers who want to read digitally, but don’t want to do so on their mobile phones.

Something else for us all in libraries to wrestle with?


Eye on the future

With an eye on the future Edinburgh’s libraries are are ready to underpin the Scottish Government’s plans for Scotland’s Digital Future

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced “It will also change the way that we live – from the way we book holidays to the way we access health care.  We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet.

Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure, and that is why we are committed to delivering a world class digital infrastructure to the people of Scotland by 2020.”

Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of Dundee-based online publishing company Brightsolid, said:

“ A digital Scotland to me is a concept that has to be central to our future. As a small country with huge intellectual capacity, digital media and digital  technology have to be right at the core of everything we do going forward.”

Edinburgh’s libraries can support everyone with the information, skills, access to content and opportunities to get on board and benefit from Scotland’s bright future

The Fourth International m-libraries Conference 2012

The  m-libraries conference this year runs from 24-26 September 2012 at the Open University, UK.

This year is  main theme for the “From margin to mainstream: mobile technologies transforming lives and libraries”

Mobile technology has transformed so many aspects of our lives: how we work, how we communicate, how we study and how we play. Since the first successful M-libraries conference in 2007, libraries around the world have made huge advances in harnessing the technology to improve and enhance their services.  The Fourth conference will bring together researchers, technical developers, managers and library practitioners to review achievements to date and consider the creative challenges and opportunities ahead.

I am chuffed to be speaking on “Libraries surviving and thriving in the multi-device, multi connection world”m-libraries logo courtesy m-libraries

I hope to see you there

Festival of politics

I think it’s impressive that the topic of libraries in the digital age is included as part of this yearLibraries in the digital age‘s Festival of politics.

I am absolutely delighted to join colleagues Martyn Wade of the National Library of Scotland Max Whitbyof  Touch Press  to discuss how libraries can react to 21st century demands. Part of the Festival of Politics.

Not just about technology

The future of libraries  isn’t just about technology, it’s also very much about information and staying relevant and important to communities. Libraries and Information Services in Edinburgh play a key role encouraging healthy minds and physical activity and in making access to these opportunities easier for all of our citizens to all of the opportunities across Edinburgh.

This work is not only about keeping older people active but also about maximising use and profile of Libraries as community spaces for older people, places where they can volunteer, learn and socialise

One of the ways we do this is through our unique annual publication specifically for our young at heart citizens of Edinburgh – Get up & Go – a free guide to what’s on in Edinburgh. It lists activities to keep fit and active, social events and more importantly it has a one stop directory to all the useful organisations across the city.

We worked with an over 50’s advisory and editorial group, we sourced, catalogued and categorised information on activities from across the city and we linked it to Get Up and Go for IT to teach the senior citizens the skills they need to add to it.

The magazine contains everything that’s happening in our libraries across the city and literally brings libraries into everyone’s homes!

The brochure is available at all libraries, Leisure facilities, doctors’ surgeries, health centres, hospitals, and Bus Station.

An electronic version information is also available through our youredinburgh portal Get Up and Go cover image


From chains to portals

There is a lot of angst around at the moment on whether libraries have a future

or not but I believe many people make the mistake of underestimating us!

Over hundreds of years libraries have had the uncanny ability to diversify and change to meet customers expectations and needs and to adapt and embrace new technologies.

Once we managed clay tablets then chained books we moved on fast to ladies only reading rooms, card catalogues and complex classification schemes. Now our libraries have bright modern interiors, cafes and are alive with technology, ICT classes, children’s rhyme times and youth zones. Look at our portal

Librarians are more and more  social media savvy , good with electronic resources and gadgets and the seamless integration of local history, knowledge and technology